Dental Hygiene, Is it worth it?

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Comments (5)

Siaca in Mineola, New York

20 months ago

Hey all,

I am currently a Freshman at a University working towards a degree in Human Biology to become a PA. Right now child support covers nearly all of my education, (I get free room since I am also working as an RA on campus). My mom seems to be struggling without the cushion that child support has offered her throughout the past and child support only goes until I am 21. So by the time I am a senior I will be paying college on my own, and PA school as well.

My main question that I really want to address, is if it seems better to take a break from my Human Bio degree and become a dental hygienist. I feel as if it will make me financially secure, and is an excellent part time job to help relieve some of the burden of student loans (especially in comparison to my minimum wage retail job). I feel like there are so many pro's to becoming a dental hygienist but my family disagrees and is telling me to stick with my PA plan, saying that what I make in 1 years work of PA will cover all my debt. Even if my family is right, I do NOT like the idea of being in a large amount of debt and I want a stable plan B.

Right now I'm leaning towards becoming a Dental Hygienist but I really want to know from those who have experience in the field if this is a good plan and if the extra time and money put into schooling is worth it!

Thanks for the help!

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steph in Arlington, Virginia

20 months ago

I agree with your family, stick to your original plan.
I would also double check with PA's, If I'm not mistaken every certain amount of years they have to retake some exam. Nurse practionioners sp?? do not.
I think NP is the it career right now. NP's can pretty much do the same thing as PA's and the pay is decent and much better than Hygiene. They are being hired a lot because they cost the fraction of what it cost to hire an MD. They usually have a couple Np's working under the supervision of a Physician.
Regardless both career (pa or np) options are much better than settling for a job (not a career )that isnt even hiring.

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waterbug100 in Duncan, British Columbia

20 months ago

Siaca..do NOT become a Dental Hygienist.

Please read all the threads..talk to hygienists, temp. agencies. Do your research thoroughly.

You WILL NOT have a steady income as a hygienist. The market is hugely oversaturated, and at best you will have a very part time, inconsistent income.

Listen to steph..NP sounds like the better route, and you will have a huge amount of variety in your PROFESSION.

Dental hygiene is NOT a PROFESSION and your JOB will be repititious,you will primarily be a salesperson and healthcare will be secondary. You will not have benefits, or a pension. You will be working for a small business person..at their mercy.

As a PA, you will have benefits, a pension and respect.

No brainer to me..

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Siaca in Mineola, New York

20 months ago

I didn't really make it clear when I said, take a break from human bio, so to clarify, I meant that I would be leaving my university, getting my degree in Dental Hygiene, and then take the financial burden off of my mom and use the money as I get from being a Dental Hygienist to help pay my through not only my 4 year degree, but PA school as well.
I didn't mean to make it sound as if I would never go back to my original goal.
Thank you so much for the advice so far!

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exp in Massachusetts

20 months ago

Siaca.....take your break, but don't go into a DH program....the cost of the program does not give a return = debt, not a FT job. It is a hard to find pt job, not career. The competition for a job is backstabbing and there are many candidates for "1" job easily. I say this to save you from investing your time, energy , money and sweat...it is a tough program and at the end of it all = licensing exams does not pay out. It's a pt job. No benefits for the majority and if you get the position, there is no guarantee of keeping the position you have . Please go into another field for longevity, benefits and a retirement....RDH for the majority isn't offered these...what you get for your degree and hard work? A part-time position if you are luckly and hourly wage...both of which can go down readily because of the oversaturation in the field now and for yrs. to come. PA is a better major to go for...you will be happier and have a job with benefits....think longevity and benefits...the wages, etc. the say (list on here and other sites) are not real....VET

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