Any DH happy with their career choice???

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Trish in San Jose, California

69 months ago

I'm seriously considering becoming a DH for several reasons:
1.) Great pay in my area
2.) Flexible schedule (a must for a single mom of three)
3.) Part time work (gives me time to maintain the home & enjoy my kids)

However, my concerns are:
1.) Not sure if I can do it with a bad back (scoliosis, although I've never let that stop me from doing anything I wanted to do in the past)
2.) Not sure if I'd like it (just can't figure that out until I try it).
3.) Most of the DH here seem to absolutely hate their job, and I can't tell most of the time if it's due to a bad boss (because that would make ANY job horrible to go to) or if it's actually the job itself.

I was wondering if there are ANY DH who actually like their work? If so, does it have to do with the job itself or being lucky enough to have a great boss? Are any of these skills transferable to other jobs like getting a regular 4 year degree? Any help would be nice.
Thanks

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sierra in Buffalo, New York

69 months ago

i am very happy with my decision to become a dental hygienist. i too have a very bad back and decided to take the plunge in spite of it. the bottom line is, i make enough money to see the physical therapist/chiropractor/massage therapist basically as often as i want, and that makes a huge difference. my back is probably in better shape now than when i started working.

there are good dentists out there. part of the thing is, everyone hates their boss.

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Lori in Seattle, Washington

69 months ago

I have scoliosis too. I have been working as a hygienist for two years. No problems with my back so far. I swim 2/week, walk on treadmill 3 times/week, and see massage therapist 1 every 2 weeks. Also, I use loops that help me to sit straight, and implement good posture throughout the day. So, if you can invest time and money into your back you probably will be fine.
It is very important to find a good dentist to work for. The one that is honest and does the good job himself/herself. Also, it is good to work for a dentist that treat the staff nicely.
I was temping in many offices. Sometimes just after several hours you feel that the place sucks. Dentist might be rude and staff is unprofessional. But most of the times the offices were nice and everything went fine. So, it really depends. That is why there is a working interview (can be even several days long) when you and dentist decide whether you would be a good working match.

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RDh FL in Hollywood, Florida

69 months ago

Trish in San Jose, California said: I'm seriously considering becoming a DH for several reasons:
1.) Great pay in my area
2.) Flexible schedule (a must for a single mom of three)
3.) Part time work (gives me time to maintain the home & enjoy my kids)

However, my concerns are:
1.) Not sure if I can do it with a bad back (scoliosis, although I've never let that stop me from doing anything I wanted to do in the past)
2.) Not sure if I'd like it (just can't figure that out until I try it).
3.) Most of the DH here seem to absolutely hate their job, and I can't tell most of the time if it's due to a bad boss (because that would make ANY job horrible to go to) or if it's actually the job itself.

I was wondering if there are ANY DH who actually like their work? If so, does it have to do with the job itself or being lucky enough to have a great boss? Are any of these skills transferable to other jobs like getting a regular 4 year degree? Any help would be nice.
Thanks

I have been a hygienists for 16 years. i do like the profession, but the dentists are the problem, and quite frankly the market is saturated, no upward mobility. i would consider nursing instead.

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Zoey1984 in Sterling Heights, Michigan

69 months ago

From what I know, Hygienists in any state make good money. It's just a matter of finding a good office to work in. I'm not sure about the California job market, but in Michigan there are copious amounts of hygienists, the general job market is very low and Nursing is always an alternative. The coursework will be very similar to hygiene and the reasons you listed for wanting to become a hygienist would probably be satisfied with a nursing job.

As far as your scoliosis, I have Kyphosis, which is similar (basically I'm destined to have a hunch back because I favor one side over the other). I experience the typical sore muscles here and there and should probably get massages and see a chiropractor but I'm only 25 and haven't found it necessary.

The hygiene curriculum is difficult, but if you're passionate toward providing care to your community and you're motivated to finish things then you'll be able to get through it alive. I don't hate my job, but if I work in an office that doesn't allow me to provide adequate necessary care to my patients I find it frustrating and therefore more stressful to work. It does matter who you work for. Not just what Dr, but the other employees. In any job I've ever had I enjoy my job and am more likely to excel if I get along with the other employees.

Hygiene, believe it or not is physically and mentally draining. If you pack a full schedule and do it all the time you will get tired and won't have anymore "mommy" energy left. I would suggest working shorter days a couple days a week to prevent burning out. If you do decide to do hygiene, end up hating it and want to change degrees I'm sure Nursing or other medical degree would be an option.

Good luck!

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karla Vancouver british columbia in Port Mann, British Columbia

69 months ago

Go into nursing...the hygiene markets all over is saturated and I think nursing would be way more mentally stimulating and rewarding. Don't just look at the hourly wage because most dental offices do not offer benefits or pention plans but nursing does.

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kate in Winter Haven, Florida

68 months ago

Trish in San Jose, California said: I'm seriously considering becoming a DH for several reasons:
1.) Great pay in my area

True the pay is not bad
2.) Flexible schedule (a must for a single mom of three)

Depends on your employer. Sometimes flexible sometimes not

3.) Part time work (gives me time to maintain the home & enjoy my kids)
Yes. This is also true

However, my concerns are:
1.) Not sure if I can do it with a bad back (scoliosis, although I've never let that stop me from doing anything I wanted to do in the past)
You will have back problems, they will get worse. Don't forget to add hand fatigue and cramping, pain in shoulders, neck, elbows, upper and lower back. Excercise regularly to lessen problems. Most hygienists have some physical problems after 5-10 years.

2.) Not sure if I'd like it (just can't figure that out until I try it).
Need to have a personality that can bend with patient mood. Every 30m-hour someone new is in the chair. Happy, sad, depressed, hate the dental environment pt and everything in between. Job is monotonous same old thing different day. Boring after you have studied to do the job. Have to tolerate some lack of respect from patients (not all, but you would be surprised how many) and potentially bosses (depends on where you are).
3.) Most of the DH here seem to absolutely hate their job, and I can't tell most of the time if it's due to a bad boss (because that would make ANY job horrible to go to) or if it's actually the job itself.
It is both. The boring nature, lack of respect from dentist or patients, body aches, feeling that the job is dead end (what can you do with a DH degree other than DH?- ans. teach, sales or clean
teeth.
I was wondering if there are ANY DH who actually like their work? If so, does it have to do with the job itself or being lucky enough to have a great boss? I have had 2/5 great bosses. It makes a big difference. Majority are just ok at best. I wouldn't rec. this job 4u.

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Marie in Fresno, California

68 months ago

Trish in San Jose, California said: I'm seriously considering becoming a DH for several reasons:
1.) Great pay in my area
2.) Flexible schedule (a must for a single mom of three)
3.) Part time work (gives me time to maintain the home & enjoy my kids)

However, my concerns are:
1.) Not sure if I can do it with a bad back (scoliosis, although I've never let that stop me from doing anything I wanted to do in the past)
2.) Not sure if I'd like it (just can't figure that out until I try it).
3.) Most of the DH here seem to absolutely hate their job, and I can't tell most of the time if it's due to a bad boss (because that would make ANY job horrible to go to) or if it's actually the job itself.

I was wondering if there are ANY DH who actually like their work? If so, does it have to do with the job itself or being lucky enough to have a great boss? Are any of these skills transferable to other jobs like getting a regular 4 year degree? Any help would be nice.
Thanks

Love hygiene and working with patients, however a fair doctor is a little more difficult to find. Your first 3 reasons are on target. I am very concerned about your back. It has been said that anyone working in dentistry when looking into the patients mouth it is like having the weight of a bowling ball on your spine, to say nothing of carpel tunnel.
If you have kids and bene's are important hygienist with great benefit package is rare.
Does nursing appeal to you? Comparable wages, benefits and flex in schedules. More jobs availability.

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confused316 in Bronx, New York

68 months ago

I dont know why no one mentioned becaming a prof instead or work in marketing sales with dh

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Melissa in Mississauga, Ontario

68 months ago

confused316 in Bronx, New York said: I dont know why no one mentioned becaming a prof instead or work in marketing sales with dh

Are there lots of opportunities teaching and/or working in sales as a Dental Hygienist??

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Suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana

68 months ago

karla Vancouver british columbia in Port Mann, British Columbia said: Go into nursing...the hygiene markets all over is saturated and I think nursing would be way more mentally stimulating and rewarding. Don't just look at the hourly wage because most dental offices do not offer benefits or pention plans but nursing does.

I have been a hygienist for 15 years and still love it. However, I am unemployed due to too many hygienists and not enough jobs. The money is great. But there will be many days the dr closes early, closes for his vacation, if pts. don't show, holidays ect you will not get paid. Hygiene is not a 40 hour a week 52 weeks a year career. I worked 7 years for a dr that I thought was great, was producing at a minimum of $1500 a day, built the hygiene dept. from 1 day a week to 4, and I never, not once, got a vacation day, a holiday paid, a bonus, or even a verbal thank-you. In 7 years I missed 2 days of work, once when my mom died and once for a 2 hour legal matter with her lawyer. My last job hired me to start a hygiene dept. in an urgent care facility. I worked 6 weeks, ordered supplies and instruments, got a schedule going and booked out 3 months and then I was terminated "due to the economy" and a week later they had a new grad in there for half the money they were paying me. Keep in mind too that you have no where to turn for issues like this. You have no union or higher places to help you. The dr always knows the right people and he has way more money and clout than you do so a lawsuit is a no win situation. If you get a rep for sticking up for yourself, no one will hire you. I'd recommend another field.

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Cassie (Ontario) in Montreal, Quebec

68 months ago

I'm from Ontario, Canada and am graduating from highschool in september and applied to both DH and pre-health(nursing)... got accepted to both and now I have to make the big decision.... a lot of your responses seem to make me lean more towards RN... the fact that as a DH you have no union or pension/benefits/vacation/holiday pays/dont get paid when patient cancels or don't get paid when your doctor decides to go on vacation all suck VERY much... the things that appeal to me are the flexibility in hours, wage, only a 2yr program and the ability to work either part-time or full time. Nursing on the other hand, yes it is good money and yes you have a union, but Im afraid that I will be both physically and mentally drained, stressed, and basically burnt out. Its also 5 yrs(1yr prehealth + 4yr BScN) compared to 2 as a DH...also nurses work 12 hour shifts which is a longgg day..I feel like my days would be totally gone... No time for the gym, no time for kids some day, no time to cook, clean, go out somewhere etc...def not the regular 9-5 job...and I feel as an RN I would probably need to be on-call if working in a hospital and like my life would just be work,work,work and I would have no time for anything else. The bonus of being an RN however is the wage is a bit higher than DH, guaranteed jobs, union, benefits and vacation days, working with more employees, busier atmosphere (not as boring) and more self rewarding I would think.
I am sooo undecided and I really need some more opinions... seems to me like there are positives and negatives to both careers and things that I will like/dislike in either field no matter what. I have until may 1st to decide so wish me luck! any other feedback would be greatly appreciated.

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sea in Vancouver, British Columbia

68 months ago

Do nursing...there are plenty of nurses that work casual and have a family etc... Nursing is in such demand and the money in nursing is fall better. I would really recommend talking to a few nurses not all work 12hour days. Lot of them work casual and basically pick the days they want to work.
I did hygiene 7years ago and at the time I was also torn between nursing and hygiene. I regret it now!! I do like the office I work at but the days are so monotonous and very hard on your shoulders, back and wrist. I personally have two close friends that are nurses and both have families. They love their jobs and have lots of paid holidays, opportunity for paid educationsl courses and lots of time off.

In hygiene most of us have to pay our own
1)disability insurance %150month,
2)no pension
3)no sick day pay
4)lunch not paid for
5)no overtime
6)no extended health plan(which is huge if you have a family)
7)no job movement (possible if you have a degree the dental science)
8)saturated market(which is starting to bring the wage down)
9)Some offices send you home if the day fall apart and you will not be paid.
10)A lot of hygienist have to pay for their own continuing competency courses (which some courses cost over $140-180 per course and you must have a least 75hours of cc credits in the three year cycle which really adds up!

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Susann in Newark, Ohio

67 months ago

Trish....I am one of the lucky ones. Been in hygiene for 30 years. Thank God I had a career where I could balance my work schedule with my kids schedules and also provide for my family. My husband passed away when they were very young and my hygiene career was a perfect lifesaver. Mostly because of the good pay (commission in one office-which you'll never find anyone to pay this way anymore.(average-$60 per hr.) And well above the natl. average in the other) I think the hourly pay is better than an RN but the hours worked per week is less.. I know..I am lucky. I have GREAT bosses) and the flexible schedule was a godsend. I do get paid vacation, have an employer sponsored pension plan in one office, continuing education paid for, and am able to work even when the dentist goes on vac. The downside: 1. working in 2 separate offices, I have no health benefits. I pay for my own. And, good luck trying to find one full time job. Not many out there. Not many jobs, period. 2. In the commission office, I have no retirement benefits. 3. no job advancement. 4. market saturation in Ohio hmmmm....can't think of anything else. If you are lucky enough to find a terrific dentist, it's a great career. Although, it can have a high burn out rate for some. RN careers may be a little more diverse.

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BM in Fremont, New Hampshire

67 months ago

RDh FL in Hollywood, Florida said: I have been a hygienists for 16 years. i do like the profession, but the dentists are the problem, and quite frankly the market is saturated, no upward mobility. i would consider nursing instead.

I agree. First off the person above has three small children too!
This is not conducive to the time , $ , and stress level not to mention no time really for anything else EXCEPT SCHOOL. Who would be watching her children for 2+ years!!!!! School and Work depend on you to BE THERE!!!! I've had Dr.'s who don't understand "my child is home sick, (and you have to be THERE (at home)!" BECAUSE you don't have the family, or money for daycare (which could be up there too!). Scoliosis, also doesn't add to the work situation. The R.D.H. that spoke above (what is her situation, as to homelife, any help, kids???). ALSO......
AS STATED ABOVE THE FIELD IS SATURATED, OVERCROWDED, AT LEAST FOR THE NEXT 7+ YEARS; SCHOOLS ONLY THINKING OF KEEPING THEIR PROGRAMS GOING, NOT YOUR FUTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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BM in Fremont, New Hampshire

67 months ago

sea in Vancouver, British Columbia said: Do nursing...there are plenty of nurses that work casual and have a family etc... Nursing is in such demand and the money in nursing is fall better. I would really recommend talking to a few nurses not all work 12hour days. Lot of them work casual and basically pick the days they want to work.
I did hygiene 7years ago and at the time I was also torn between nursing and hygiene. I regret it now!! I do like the office I work at but the days are so monotonous and very hard on your shoulders, back and wrist. I personally have two close friends that are nurses and both have families. They love their jobs and have lots of paid holidays, opportunity for paid educationsl courses and lots of time off.

In hygiene most of us have to pay our own
1)disability insurance %150month,
2)no pension
3)no sick day pay
4)lunch not paid for
5)no overtime
6)no extended health plan(which is huge if you have a family)
7)no job movement (possible if you have a degree the dental science)
8)saturated market(which is starting to bring the wage down)
9)Some offices send you home if the day fall apart and you will not be paid.
10)A lot of hygienist have to pay for their own continuing competency courses (which some courses cost over $140-180 per course and you must have a least 75hours of cc credits in the three year cycle which really adds up!

The CEU's depends on where you live. In the Northeast, it is 20 continuing ed. courses every 2 years and they can't just be courses in some NE states they have to be "Dental/Hygiene" performance related. P.S. Your pay is way above anything I've heard of!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana

67 months ago

I read these posts and think of all the money we have made for these dentists who are driving beamers and such, live in the million dollar houses, have vacation homes, and have their patients thinking they are the greatest guys on earth.
A good friend of mine who still has a hygiene job called me today crying because her dr decided to close at 10am today, close 6 hrs tomorrow and 8 hrs Monday so he can enjoy the sunshine! Meanwhile she still has to pay her daycare fee of $52 per day even though she will be home with her girls unpaid. She said he had the cruelest smile on his face when he told her about it and said "I just love being the boss". We have no benefits and have back, neck, shoulder, and hand problems. They get richer while we get burned out and unappreciated. Sorry girls, some of us feel the way we do because we are speaking from experience.

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Susann in Newark, Ohio

67 months ago

suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana said: I read these posts and think of all the money we have made for these dentists who are driving beamers and such, live in the million dollar houses, have vacation homes, and have their patients thinking they are the greatest guys on earth.
A good friend of mine who still has a hygiene job called me today crying because her dr decided to close at 10am today, close 6 hrs tomorrow and 8 hrs Monday so he can enjoy the sunshine! Meanwhile she still has to pay her daycare fee of $52 per day even though she will be home with her girls unpaid. She said he had the cruelest smile on his face when he told her about it and said "I just love being the boss". We have no benefits and have back, neck, shoulder, and hand problems. They get richer while we get burned out and unappreciated. Sorry girls, some of us feel the way we do because we are speaking from experience.

BM...I AM fortunate. I know this situation isn't typical of most hygiene jobs, but, you have to realize, I've been in the profession for almost 30 years and most of that time spent with the same dentists. There are a few good guys who appreciate the work their hygienists do for them and the income they bring in. I'm not encouraging anyone to go in to hygiene right now, though. I think it's a difficult field to find full time work (or any work for that matter) in and is under appreciated by many employers. When I started out, hygiene was a field in great demand. Dentists were practically begging for hygienists, especially in more rural areas. It is currently VERY over-saturated,(and no one is quitting the jobs they have, with the current economy) giving employers the upper hand. And let's face it...there are some dickheads out there. Which is why I suggested she might want to consider nursing instead.

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Susann in Newark, Ohio

67 months ago

suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana said: I read these posts and think of all the money we have made for these dentists who are driving beamers and such, live in the million dollar houses, have vacation homes, and have their patients thinking they are the greatest guys on earth.
A good friend of mine who still has a hygiene job called me today crying because her dr decided to close at 10am today, close 6 hrs tomorrow and 8 hrs Monday so he can enjoy the sunshine! Meanwhile she still has to pay her daycare fee of $52 per day even though she will be home with her girls unpaid. She said he had the cruelest smile on his face when he told her about it and said "I just love being the boss". We have no benefits and have back, neck, shoulder, and hand problems. They get richer while we get burned out and unappreciated. Sorry girls, some of us feel the way we do because we are speaking from experience.

Suzanne....does your friend have enough hours in to work without direct supervision of her employer? I know not all patients would qualify, but if she is qualified, she needs to discuss that option with her dentist. Although, he sounds like an egomaniac who doesn't really give a rats butt what her situation is. One thing I've learned though, is that dentists won't give you anything unless you ask for it. Won't hurt to try. I wish your friend the best.

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suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana

67 months ago

I am glad you have been fortunate with your career. I know there are good dr's but I think they are few and far between. I agree with you about the market. When I graduated in 1995 there were job ads in the paper daily. There have been 2 in 5 years where I live. And yes, I personally know several hygienists who are very unhappy where they are working but won't quit for fear of not landing another position. Many are being forced to sacrifice quality for the almighty production goal. I had an interview last week with a dr that wanted hyg double booked, told me he rarely has a no show, expects at a minimum 18 hyg patients a day including srp's, paid $20/hr, and no benefits. So maybe it's just time for me to change professions. I agree nursing is the way to go. At least something in the medical field. Good luck to you in the future as well.

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suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana

67 months ago

Susann in Newark, Ohio said: Suzanne....does your friend have enough hours in to work without direct supervision of her employer? I know not all patients would qualify, but if she is qualified, she needs to discuss that option with her dentist. Although, he sounds like an egomaniac who doesn't really give a rats butt what her situation is. One thing I've learned though, is that dentists won't give you anything unless you ask for it. Won't hurt to try. I wish your friend the best.

Hi Susan, thanks for the suggestion. No, in IN the dr must be on site for us to practice unless it's in a place such as prison where other dr's are present.

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Susann in Newark, Ohio

67 months ago

suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana said: I am glad you have been fortunate with your career. I know there are good dr's but I think they are few and far between. I agree with you about the market. When I graduated in 1995 there were job ads in the paper daily. There have been 2 in 5 years where I live. And yes, I personally know several hygienists who are very unhappy where they are working but won't quit for fear of not landing another position. Many are being forced to sacrifice quality for the almighty production goal. I had an interview last week with a dr that wanted hyg double booked, told me he rarely has a no show, expects at a minimum 18 hyg patients a day including srp's, paid $20/hr, and no benefits. So maybe it's just time for me to change professions. I agree nursing is the way to go. At least something in the medical field. Good luck to you in the future as well.

The sad thing is that some desperate soul will actually accept that position!
Sorry, I didn't realize Indiana's law was different from Ohio regarding direct supervision. That makes it tough. You all need to get that law passed so you can work while your dirty, rotten employers take a break! lol...jk

Best of luck in your job search!

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kate in Lakeland, Florida

67 months ago

confused316 in Bronx, New York said: I dont know why no one mentioned becaming a prof instead or work in marketing sales with dh

I did write about it--12 days before your post. It is under the responses to the original post for #3.) Most of the DH here seem to absolutely hate their job, and I can't tell most of the time if it's due to a bad boss (because that would make ANY job horrible to go to) or if it's actually the job itself.

Answer

It is both. The boring nature, lack of respect from dentist or patients, body aches, feeling that the job is dead end (what can you do with a DH degree other than DH?- ans. teach, sales or clean teeth.

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Suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana

67 months ago

Funny, the dr's office called to offer me $2/hr more. HA! Yes, I think our hyg assoc is letting us down by not pushing for more on the behalf of the hygienist who wants to actually provide care for the patient. That dr is a prime example of a prophy mill fully functioning! He will undoubtedly find someone desperate enough to accept his offer, but it won't be me. I know one of his assts., and she thinks business is drifting off. Maybe patient's are getting wiser? I hope. Have a good weekend!

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hehe in Burnaby, British Columbia

67 months ago

suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana said: I read these posts and think of all the money we have made for these dentists who are driving beamers and such, live in the million dollar houses, have vacation homes, and have their patients thinking they are the greatest guys on earth.
A good friend of mine who still has a hygiene job called me today crying because her dr decided to close at 10am today, close 6 hrs tomorrow and 8 hrs Monday so he can enjoy the sunshine! Meanwhile she still has to pay her daycare fee of $52 per day even though she will be home with her girls unpaid. She said he had the cruelest smile on his face when he told her about it and said "I just love being the boss". We have no benefits and have back, neck, shoulder, and hand problems. They get richer while we get burned out and unappreciated. Sorry girls, some of us feel the way we do because we are speaking from experience.

What you stated is so true! I have been in this field for 8years and feel the same way. To many people go into this profession thinking that they will make great money and endless job opportunities. But unfortunately this is not reality anymore. I truly feel for those individual who pay 35-40k on tuition alone at these private schools and have no job at the end of it. Very sad! This profession has really taken a step backwards.

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suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana

67 months ago

You are absolutely correct. I think there will eventually be a cut in the teaching jobs as well in a few years when enough graduates have no place to work and enrollment applications drop. Wages are falling like crazy in Indiana. I really feel for the new girls. They are going to burn out quicker than we did.
It's kind of ironic, I'm laid off permanently and a teacher from a local community college asked me to talk to high schoolers about my profession for a career fair. I had just been to the school and applied for nursing. I told her I could not as I don't have anything positive to say. She started telling me how the profession was growing ect. and I told her no it's not. Get on this forum and see all the negative comments and people with 10+ years exp that are jobless. I bet her lunch she couldn't find an office within 70 miles who would even want a resume, let alone hiring. She called me a couple of days ago and asked me where I'd like to eat.:) Many people are unaware.

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BM in Raymond, New Hampshire

67 months ago

Susann in Newark, Ohio said: BM...I AM fortunate. I know this situation isn't typical of most hygiene jobs, but, you have to realize, I've been in the profession for almost 30 years and most of that time spent with the same dentists. There are a few good guys who appreciate the work their hygienists do for them and the income they bring in. I'm not encouraging anyone to go in to hygiene right now, though. I think it's a difficult field to find full time work (or any work for that matter) in and is under appreciated by many employers. When I started out, hygiene was a field in great demand. Dentists were practically begging for hygienists, especially in more rural areas. It is currently VERY over-saturated,(and no one is quitting the jobs they have, with the current economy) giving employers the upper hand. And let's face it...there are some dickheads out there. Which is why I suggested she might want to consider nursing instead.

Hi. Yes, I agree that our field is oversaturated. I'm glad to hear that the Dr. you work for is one that appreciates his/her employees. I find alot (not you) of BLOG's on this website, feel that their situation will not be like the present situation for the Dental Hygiene field. Thank you for being polite in your response. There are some very nasty responses on questions put forth. Nursing, will allow more longevity, benefits and growth.

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Christie in Los Angeles, California

67 months ago

I would never go into hygiene again. It's a non-unionized cultural mindset which lets the employers get away with treating you any way they want to. It's quick education, so the field is over saturated. Also, many foreign DDS are taking our jobs. It's hard on the body, mind and spirit, and most of the staff hates you because of jealousy of your money. It's hard to get good disability insurance because of past claims from hygienists.
Out here in LA where the view is dismal for hygiene.

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dh2 in Toronto, Ontario

67 months ago

Christie in Los Angeles, California said: I would never go into hygiene again. It's a non-unionized cultural mindset which lets the employers get away with treating you any way they want to. It's quick education, so the field is over saturated. Also, many foreign DDS are taking our jobs. It's hard on the body, mind and spirit, and most of the staff hates you because of jealousy of your money. It's hard to get good disability insurance because of past claims from hygienists.
Out here in LA where the view is dismal for hygiene.

christie...so true...the other staff esp office manager hates you because you make more money...they have this attitude, like, "she should file the charts, she makes 40 bucks an hour", while they just sit there on personal calls, and make 30 bucks an hour! the assistants also..."let her do the instruments, she makes 40 bucks an hour"...they feel that because you make more money than them it automatically means they get to just sit there while we do part of their jobs...let me tell you this doesn't happen in companies where salaries are confidential.

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suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana

67 months ago

Couldn't agree with Christie and dh2 more! You will find my thoughts almost word for word the same on this and other posts. I have loved my hygiene career, but I wouldn't recommend it to my worst enemy. I am torn between hygiene and going back to school for something in the medical profession. I have an offer with the military for $18 an hour with great benefits. I made $20 an hour my first hygiene job in 1995. Any thoughts? Thanks.

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Steph in Ocala, Florida

66 months ago

I graduated from DH school 1 yr ago. I hate it. But I work for an aweful dentist. He has taken away any "benefit" that he offered me when I was hired. I doubt I would like it any better even if I worked for a good dentist. Honestly, DH is mainly scraping junk off people's teeth and telling pt's how to better care for their mouths. Its the same ole' same ole'. There are no jobs because of the economy so, there are actually many more DH than jobs at this point. I'm considering going back to school for either a bachelor's degree and teaching, or completely changing into nursing since its so versatile. Hope this helps.

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Suzanne

66 months ago

Do it now while your credits will transfer to a new program. Don't wait too long or you will have to start from scratch. Good Luck!

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Jessica in Las Vegas, Nevada

66 months ago

I'm a 27 year old female who was considering going into the dental hygiene program here in Las Vegas. After reading this I don't know what to think. I've been in the corporate office setting forever and I want to be in the health field. I want to be helping people directly. I guess dental hygiene would not be a wise choice?

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exp in Massachusetts

66 months ago

Jessica in Las Vegas, Nevada said: I'm a 27 year old female who was considering going into the dental hygiene program here in Las Vegas. After reading this I don't know what to think. I've been in the corporate office setting forever and I want to be in the health field. I want to be helping people directly. I guess dental hygiene would not be a wise choice?

Jessica, Hi, Dental Hygiene , depending on what state, has become very overcrowded. If Las Vegas has a school, you like science, and can commit to 2+ years of intense schooling it might be lucrative, but there is alot of competition in this field now. There are many new schools and graduates , as well as, those who find they need to continue in the field because of this economy( loss of savings...). Check out schools, and talk to the Hygienist you see for cleanings, they may give you more insight as to a decision by you. The medical field is separate from Dental. This might be another option for you and the medical field may offer you stability and retirement which is something many Hygienists don't have with their employer unless working through the State, Govt....

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Suzanne

66 months ago

Hi Jessica,
I agree with exp, the market is flooded. Everywhere you look on this and other forums are hygienist's without jobs venting their frustration. I love hygiene and thought I'd be one until I retired, now I'm not so sure. I am thinking of nursing or respiratory tech as they are both fields that will last no matter what happens to the economy. Pick up a phone book and call local dental offices and ask if they are needing a hygienist and see what you find out. Ask your own hygienist and see how she reacts. Not very many hygienists have any type of benefits such as paid vacation, holidays, sick days, or retirement. Many offices hire 2 part-time hygienists to avoid even having to pay unemployment insurance in case of job loss. If you work for military or VA the pay will be considerably less. But if you want to be a clinician and help teach people about their oral health with little or no job prospects, go for it. Good Luck!

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Jessica in Burbank, California

66 months ago

I want to be a dental hygienist, but I don't know if this is a good major to find a job or no please help me to find the right answer. i am living in California, Burbank

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Jess in Las Vegas, Nevada

66 months ago

Jessica in Burbank, California said: I want to be a dental hygienist, but I don't know if this is a good major to find a job or no please help me to find the right answer. i am living in California, Burbank

All you have to do to get your answer is read all these posts in this thread. Lots of people have given their opinions and experiences.

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Suzanne

65 months ago

Jessica, Also look at other threads. You will often see the subject drifts onto job loss or wages going down. I don't know if it's human nature, but we all ask for help or guidance and then don't want to accept what we're told. If you keep asking, eventually you will find someone who will tell you hygiene is growing and jobs are out there. Especially recruiters for college. Kind of like the military telling you if you sign up for an office job you won't go to Iraq or Afghanistan. You have to use your common sense. There wouldn't be so many people on here and other sites if it was all good. Beware.

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nojobs in Toronto, Ontario

65 months ago

Suzanne said: Hi Jessica,
I agree with exp, the market is flooded. Everywhere you look on this and other forums are hygienist's without jobs venting their frustration. I love hygiene and thought I'd be one until I retired, now I'm not so sure. I am thinking of nursing or respiratory tech as they are both fields that will last no matter what happens to the economy. Pick up a phone book and call local dental offices and ask if they are needing a hygienist and see what you find out. Ask your own hygienist and see how she reacts. Not very many hygienists have any type of benefits such as paid vacation, holidays, sick days, or retirement. Many offices hire 2 part-time hygienists to avoid even having to pay unemployment insurance in case of job loss. If you work for military or VA the pay will be considerably less. But if you want to be a clinician and help teach people about their oral health with little or no job prospects, go for it. Good Luck!

Touche!

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Jessica in Las Vegas, Nevada

65 months ago

I have decided to try for a RN degree instead.. I've always wanted to be in the health care field and helping people.

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Suzanne

65 months ago

Hi Jessica,
I'm happy you have made a decision to go for your RN. You will have an education that nobody can ever take away from you. Nursing will be a rewarding and lasting profession for you. You will be respected, have job opportunities everywhere you go, make good money with benefits, and have many personal rewards in seeing your patients recover both physically and emotionally. Nursing has so many options and settings to practice in. Your future is full of opportunities and I wish you the very best!

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KG in Vancouver, British Columbia

65 months ago

Suzanne said: Jessica, Also look at other threads. You will often see the subject drifts onto job loss or wages going down. I don't know if it's human nature, but we all ask for help or guidance and then don't want to accept what we're told. If you keep asking, eventually you will find someone who will tell you hygiene is growing and jobs are out there. Especially recruiters for college. Kind of like the military telling you if you sign up for an office job you won't go to Iraq or Afghanistan. You have to use your common sense. There wouldn't be so many people on here and other sites if it was all good. Beware.

good response! You are so right. There are still people on these forums saying that hygiene is still in demand and there are lots of jobs to be had. They must be recruiters from other schools or people who live in Very isolated areas!

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Suzanne

65 months ago

Hi KG, I speak only from my own personal experience. There are no jobs to speak of in Indiana, maybe 5-10 in the whole state. To me that is not a good outlook. I love practicing hygiene, I have even done it on a volunteer basis for a doc that was in trouble and couldn't pay me. But to tell people contemplating going into debt and committing to an intense 2 plus years program, I'm going to call it like I see it. Thanks for agreeing with me. I too wonder if some of these posts are from recruiters. Have a nice holiday.

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EWH220 in Roslindale, Massachusetts

65 months ago

I got lucky with my job. I went to school in NY and found a great job in Massachusetts. I have a great dentist/director that I absolutely love, and the office I work at has a fun environment, not stressed. This is a brand new start up group practice. I work full time, good pay, vacation days, health insurance, 401K, and my schedule is flexible. I have hygiene friends who do work at 2-3 different offices and no benefits.

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M in Atlanta, Georgia

65 months ago

Totally agree with all the comments on this board, when people ask me about this field I say no way for all of the named reasons above. You don't have to think it so routine, I felt trapped-no upward mobility, you can't do anything else with this degree and I have a BSDH. And no stability. Went back to same school graduated from and an now in the nursing program, just finished my first semester, much harder than the dental hygiene program, have to know so much but I love it.
Good luck to everyone, I can only hope a dentist looks at these blogs and see the injustice they do to us hygienist. I ADHA, does not represent us, I won't give them my money.

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sierra in North Tonawanda, New York

65 months ago

Suzanne said: Jessica, Also look at other threads. You will often see the subject drifts onto job loss or wages going down. I don't know if it's human nature, but we all ask for help or guidance and then don't want to accept what we're told. If you keep asking, eventually you will find someone who will tell you hygiene is growing and jobs are out there. Especially recruiters for college. Kind of like the military telling you if you sign up for an office job you won't go to Iraq or Afghanistan. You have to use your common sense. There wouldn't be so many people on here and other sites if it was all good. Beware.

It is possible that some people who speak positively about the prospects for a new hygienist are doing so out of self-interest, sure. But you're implying that ANY person who encourages someone to go in hygiene is doing so out of self-interest. That is just as delusional as denying a poor market when one exists.

Apparently, the market I live in is COMPLETELY FLOODED!!! Yet only two of the people I graduated with last spring aren't working as hygienists right now.

Right. That was just a lucky coincidence, right?

Too many of the naysayers here are simply narcissistic failures who hate to hear that other people are getting on just fine in the same market they're complaining about.

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Suzanne in Terre Haute, Indiana

65 months ago

Believe what you want. I am not a narcissist or a failure. I have 2 offers on the table right now and both of them are out of state. That means selling my home and leaving my grandchildren to stay in hygiene. I have never once said that ANY person who recommends hygiene is doing so out of self-interest. If you have over 50% of licensed hygienists on these threads saying it's not a good time to pursue a career in hygiene or the jobs are gone in their locations, don't you think there might be something to it? How many of the grads you spoke about have full-time jobs with benefits? If all of them do, I need to move to where you live. I give my personal opinion based on my own knowledge and experience and there are plenty of other hygienists who agree with me. Some new grads WILL find jobs because they don't have experience and dds don't have to pay them as much as they would those of us who know better. I personally have lost my last 2 positions to hygienist's working for less than half the pay I was making. Do you think that's not true also? You graduated last spring. You know more that hygienist's with 10 plus years in the dental field? And you have the nerve to call other's narcissist's? Keep reading these posts and see what people continue to say. I hope things turn around for the whole country, not just dental. How many dds do you know who have had to let their hygienist go and are doing their own hygiene? I know 4.

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sierra in North Tonawanda, New York

65 months ago

50% of the hygienists here say it's not a good time to pursue a career in hygiene? Well, clearly the only rational explanation is that the state of the profession is every bit as bad as these people claim. Right? It can't be that advice/review type sites like this one are, in large part, depositories for the disgruntled, dissatisfied, and vindictive? Of course not.

Suzanne, please.

Isn't it funny how there are loads of hygienists here who will blame their lack of a job on dentists, the economy, etc. But how often do you hear someone say, "It takes a certain type of person to have a successful career in hygiene, and I just wasn't cut out for it/couldn't handle it/couldn't thrive in the field"--practically never, right? Yet that is FAR better, more useful advice for a person who is considering a career in hygiene. A sizable chunk of every new hygiene class can't even handle the ACADEMIC end of it, much less the professional end. Wouldn't it be better if, for these young men and women, they learned to ascertain a career not by how well suited the career is for THEM, but how well suited THEY are for the career? By the way, do you know the definition of narcissism?

And look how you're leading us on a wild goose chase. First it was just, "No jobs." Then I pointed out that the "no jobs" line is not valid because the vast majority of the people I graduated are currently working. So now it's, "Uh, well, okay, but... How many of them have benefits??" The answer is, "a fair few of them" but that's beside the point, right?

Lastly--I don't believe that you have two job offers "on the table." They'd require you to move out of state? Boo-hoo! Lots of people have to move on account of their careers. If you think you're above it, that's your problem.

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exp in Massachusetts

65 months ago

sierra in North Tonawanda, New York said: It is possible that some people who speak positively about the prospects for a new hygienist are doing so out of self-interest, sure. But you're implying that ANY person who encourages someone to go in hygiene is doing so out of self-interest. That is just as delusional as denying a poor market when one exists.

Apparently, the market I live in is COMPLETELY FLOODED!!! Yet only two of the people I graduated with last spring aren't working as hygienists right now.

Right. That was just a lucky coincidence, right?

Too many of the naysayers here are simply narcissistic failures who hate to hear that other people are getting on just fine in the same market they're complaining about.

You are fortunate to have a job, but many are not in that same situation. Calling other Hygienists "narcissistic failures who hate to hear...." does not help! Name calling of this kind and sounding so high and mighty is not the answer. How about taking a real survey of all the hygienists in the state of N.Y. and getting back to this sight with hard evidence. I hope you don't talk down to your co-workers and patients as you do online. Suzanne has many years as an R.D.H. you have 2?? Offer the positive you have experienced and even , oh my, dare I say negative? I'm sure there must be something that has not been the way you'd like it or expect it to be...

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LQQKING in Fort Worth, Texas

65 months ago

siera

You are being harsh and judgemental. How can you judge how it is for suzanne just because things are good for you? Maybe she can not move because of family...you need to think before you post...

You just wait with your attitude things could change for you too....and you will suddenly find yourself humbled...

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