Job market outlook for sunny San Diego

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Soul in San Diego, California

76 months ago

Hello everyone. I am beginning my science prereq's for my eventual enrollement in a dental hygiene program and would like to know how the job market is looking for San Diego. I've been searching the internet and only found tid-bits of info on this topic, and was hoping some of my fellow SD folks could chime in with what they've found and are currently experiencing. The rough math says that I would be entering the field late 2010 to early 2011 (wow that sounds far away). Although that is a few years away, i'd still like to get a barometer of whether things are looking good, not so good, or downright tough. One would think that because there is only one school (SWC) for the entire city, it would create a slow flow of new Hygienist that would (I hope!) prevent a flooding of positions. I'm sure my theory is just wishful thinking though. Anyhow, as you can see I definitely could use some illumination on the subject.

So please shed some light!

Any and all info you guys/gals could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a million!

Soul

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DHBA in San Diego, California

76 months ago

I just graduated from SWC last spring, and the job market is very slow. When a position does come available there are usually about 10 people applying for it (both new and old RDH). A lot of the people from my class already had jobs lined up because they had been DA so they just went back to work for their DDS. I check everyday for new listings, but they seem to have slowed down again. In my opinion the market has started to flood.
Hope this helps.

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Soul in San Diego, California

76 months ago

Thank you for your reply DHBA, I was hoping that wouldn't be the case. I've been checking around for job openings, just to get a reading of what's currently out there, and I wasn't seeing very much activity. I wonder what is causing the market to flood because there isn't an oversaturation of schools in San Diego. Have you been able to find anything, or are you just looking for another part-time position? I figured the transition from DA to DH would book up a portion of jobs as Dentist's would just bring back DA's as Hygienist's once they've graduated, but I didn't really think that would be such a big obstacle for new graduates. Did you feel like the program at SWC was good? Was it as demanding as stated in these threads and everywhere else? I was feeling really good about a career in Dental Hygiene until I came across this board (which seems like the only real-time resource out there i've found), but it's a bit discouraging reading some of the views in what seems like the majority of these threads. I just recently had my teeth cleaned and was inquiring about the career to the hygienist doing the cleaning and her bottom line suggestion was to seriously consider going to school for dentistry (the cons of the huge time commitment and big loans outweighed the pro's for me). I'm just feeling a little leary about dedicating all this time (2 years plus the 2+ years waiting list just to start the program) to this career if the job market in SD is getting tougher. All the other complaints about a career as a DH have done nothing to deter my choice because all the aspects of this profession really seem like a great fit for me. But if the market (in SD- I never want to leave this city) is looking uncertain then what good is a career that fits like a glove if I can't even get my fingers in the isotoner's.
Ha.
Anyhow if you can give me any further feedback, advice, suggestions or things to consider i'd GREATLY appreciate it. Thanks a million DHBA.
-Soul

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BP 72 in Encinitas, California

70 months ago

My friend is a hygienist in Sorrento Valley and she told me to look into other schools other than Southwestern College. Good luck with SWC. I called and a woman in the DH department told me the wait is 3-4 years. My profession is in the architecture field and with the way the economy is going there's no work out there. The architecture profession's problems is somewhat worse than DH. Too many graduates, not enough jobs. If you think about it, SWC cranks out about 30-36 DH graduates a year. How many will it take til the market's saturated? I looked into radiology as well and was told the market's saturated there too. Everyone wants to live in Sunny San Diego. Taft College doesn't have a waiting list but they don't have enough space for all the applicants either. But Taft is in the middle of nowhere. Nice pace and good setting for studying but really is a really really small town. I think everyone's caught on to the fact that DH's make a lot. However, give it some time and when the market is supersaturated, the pay will drop. That's what's happened in the architecture field. Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics and look at the projected DH outlook for California. Although it says the rate of growth is faster than average 26%, the actual number of projected jobs is rather small. (I think it said 1000 jobs from 2006 to 2016 in California.)

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rdh07 in Apple Valley, California

70 months ago

I went to DH school in Taft. Although they don't have a waiting list, good luck finding patients in a town in the middle of no where. The best patients that reside in Taft are field workers who speak only Spanish who have never had their teeth cleaned. When we had no show patients, we cruised around town in our scrubs and they tend to run back into their homes.

BP 72 in Encinitas, California said: My friend is a hygienist in Sorrento Valley and she told me to look into other schools other than Southwestern College. Good luck with SWC. I called and a woman in the DH department told me the wait is 3-4 years. My profession is in the architecture field and with the way the economy is going there's no work out there. The architecture profession's problems is somewhat worse than DH. Too many graduates, not enough jobs. If you think about it, SWC cranks out about 30-36 DH graduates a year. How many will it take til the market's saturated? I looked into radiology as well and was told the market's saturated there too. Everyone wants to live in Sunny San Diego. Taft College doesn't have a waiting list but they don't have enough space for all the applicants either. But Taft is in the middle of nowhere. Nice pace and good setting for studying but really is a really really small town. I think everyone's caught on to the fact that DH's make a lot. However, give it some time and when the market is supersaturated, the pay will drop. That's what's happened in the architecture field. Check out the Bureau of Labor Statistics and look at the projected DH outlook for California. Although it says the rate of growth is faster than average 26%, the actual number of projected jobs is rather small. (I think it said 1000 jobs from 2006 to 2016 in California.)

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me in Oceanside, California

69 months ago

Soul in San Diego, California said: Hello everyone. I am beginning my science prereq's for my eventual enrollement in a dental hygiene program and would like to know how the job market is looking for San Diego. I've been searching the internet and only found tid-bits of info on this topic, and was hoping some of my fellow SD folks could chime in with what they've found and are currently experiencing. The rough math says that I would be entering the field late 2010 to early 2011 (wow that sounds far away). Although that is a few years away, i'd still like to get a barometer of whether things are looking good, not so good, or downright tough. One would think that because there is only one school (SWC) for the entire city, it would create a slow flow of new Hygienist that would (I hope!) prevent a flooding of positions. I'm sure my theory is just wishful thinking though. Anyhow, as you can see I definitely could use some illumination on the subject.

So please shed some light!

Any and all info you guys/gals could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a million!

Soul

The market is very very poor. My wife has been out of work for a couple of months, and every time she calls on a posted ad.....then the position is already gone.

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Donnasue2@cox.net in El Cajon, California

64 months ago

Soul in San Diego, California said: Hello everyone. I am beginning my science prereq's for my eventual enrollement in a dental hygiene program and would like to know how the job market is looking for San Diego. I've been searching the internet and only found tid-bits of info on this topic, and was hoping some of my fellow SD folks could chime in with what they've found and are currently experiencing. The rough math says that I would be entering the field late 2010 to early 2011 (wow that sounds far away). Although that is a few years away, i'd still like to get a barometer of whether things are looking good, not so good, or downright tough. One would think that because there is only one school (SWC) for the entire city, it would create a slow flow of new Hygienist that would (I hope!) prevent a flooding of positions. I'm sure my theory is just wishful thinking though. Anyhow, as you can see I definitely could use some illumination on the subject.

So please shed some light!

Any and all info you guys/gals could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a million!

Soul

I graduated from SWC 2001. The job market is horrible. Pick a new profession like nursing.
Donna

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Dexter in San Diego, California

60 months ago

Please don't waste your time and money being a hygienist. I have been in this field all my life, and I have never seen it this saturated in San Diego. It is not so much the economy, it is because they placed a school here in a small town and they are pumping out too many people causing a flood in the market not to mention that salaries have not increased due to SWC. The job is boring, people will be jealous of you, you won't get benefits, dentists are cheap when it comes to paying hygienists. I would run if I were you.

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JackiePa in Encinitas, California

57 months ago

I highly disagree with the Dexter comment above. I am a new graduate from the University of Colorado and have just moved back to San Diego. I found a job right away about 2 months ago, working 4 days a week which is perfect for me. I love the profession, the patients, all of the above. My mom is a hygienist and is still in love with our profession after 25 years of practicing. It saddens me to hear people talk about the profession in the way the user did up top (Dexter). This person is clearly unhappy with her career choice and is right. She should stay very far away from the profession. Those aren't the type of people to have in dentistry anyway. As long as you are polite and not a pre madonna hygienist, no one will be jealous of you. Just respect your assistants and the patients. My dentist gives us benefits and treats us to lunch once a week. It truly is the best profession... HAPPY Searching, something will come. Not all offices are slow, there are a ton that are booming! GOOD LUCK fellow RDH's!

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DHBA in San Diego, California

57 months ago

Jackie Congrats on the new job, you are one of the lucky ones. The truth is the market IS flooded, there are on average 20 people applying for each available position. A few of my girlfriends and I are competing for the same positions, and we keep getting told the same thing over and over, we like you very much but we have sooo many applicants we have to interview. SWC graduates on anywhere from 15-30+ new RDHs every year, so if you’re looking for a job so are all of the new RDHs. A couple of my friends have been replaced after working in their offices for 1-2 years with either the old RDH that wants to come back or the offices old RDA turned RDH. At this point there are sooo many of us, there seems to be NO loyalty to the new hires, b/c we can be replaced in a heartbeat. Now of course this doesn't apply to every office but it's scary to try and plan for the future knowing such instances are occuring.

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exp in Massachusetts

57 months ago

Soul, If R.D.H.'s are not able to find employment in their respective states, some are licensing in other adjoining states, and the COMPETITION FOR THE FEW GOOD PRACTICES continues....It's not worth spending 30-40,000 on a questionable employment situation. The VERY few who have employment, and ben's, as the "one" above new R.D.H. has, well, she lucked out. Pursue a field that is your second choice, ?Nursing, or other medical field, where you will is most cases have a retirement pkg. I think many of those, not nec. you, but many others look at the hourly wage....but, as I say, Dr.'s can pick and choose the D.H. and if you don't work out, or want to take the lower wage (in the NE, I called on a job and it offered "2000" wage = $8.00 less) and no benefits, and 1099, as far as your tax situation. Think of your retirement in 30+ yrs.....then you will have a more comfortable, and possibly less worry of how to pay your bills....REALITY OF THE Hygiene field...VET

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JackiePa in Encinitas, California

55 months ago

Still highly disagree. It's not about luck. It seems as though these hygienists are not at passionate about the career as I am. Employers can pick that vibe up immediately. I have several girlfriends who are also hygienists and all are employed and enjoying our rewarding career.My mother has also been practicing for 25 years and she is still working in different offices. You must have patience, if the market is slow in your area, try temping. Or, try walking around personally while introducing yourself and dropping your resume off at private practice offices. There is no denying that we are in a recession, but this simply means you need to put a little more effort into getting a job rather than waiting for one to fall in your lap... like it used to be for RDH's. Also, build your resume so you will stand out. Get laser certified, or take a Dentrix class. This recession means you need to put that extra push in to find work. It is do-able and NOT impossible!!

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exp in Epping, New Hampshire

55 months ago

JackiePa in Encinitas, California said: Still highly disagree. It's not about luck. It seems as though these hygienists are not at passionate about the career as I am. Employers can pick that vibe up immediately. I have several girlfriends who are also hygienists and all are employed and enjoying our rewarding career.My mother has also been practicing for 25 years and she is still working in different offices. You must have patience, if the market is slow in your area, try temping. Or, try walking around personally while introducing yourself and dropping your resume off at private practice offices. There is no denying that we are in a recession, but this simply means you need to put a little more effort into getting a job rather than waiting for one to fall in your lap... like it used to be for RDH's. Also, build your resume so you will stand out. Get laser certified, or take a Dentrix class. This recession means you need to put that extra push in to find work. It is do-able and NOT impossible!!

Recession and "overabundance/oversaturation" of the D.H. field are TOTALLY different...whether you have "all" the skills and the personality to fit in in an office...the bottom line in many offices today is ....who , with the most skills, and wanting the least compensation.... this is the reality of our field in 2009 and beyond...it is not a dream...it is what is going on in many offices...many capable, skilled, tech savey(sp)R.D.H.'s are in competition for positions with REDUCED pay....everybody in this field now trying to practice...STAY POSITIVE (as you can), but it's
REALITY/COMPETITION = JOB????

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JackiePa in Encinitas, California

55 months ago

You are from NH. I am from California (my state is in the biggest debt out of them all), and we are not experiencing anything you are talking about. There is nothing to argue about, we live in different parts of the country. The reality of it is, having MORE skills will put you ahead of the game. Plain and simple. You obviously chose the wrong profession, and it's sad that in NH you are seeing this "trend" because it is definitely not that way out here. We are getting paid $400/day, with benefits for 4 days a week. There are several offices doing this and I have been in MANY ethical, patient centered offices who cherish their employees. Again, I'm sorry you have had a different experience. I would recommend this field to any woman who wants flexibility, a great salary, and a rewarding career :)

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exp in Epping, New Hampshire

55 months ago

Jackie, Pardon me but I do have the skills ,professionalism, etc...Many states, maybe not in Encinitas, CA, but if you have been reading the MANY THREADS from MANY STATES....are in the same situation as NH. I DID CHOOSE THE RIGHT PROFESSION, and if you are employed, maybe you can offer places in "CA", that are in need of R.D.H.'s , maybe your office? Even though you have a job, note: others may be handing their resume to your office and even if you have all the skills, etc...someone may be waiting for your job....don't be so sure of your situation. Whether we are in a recession, the field has an abundance of new grad's, young, older...looking for employment and they have all the skills. Offer up offices that are in your area that are in need of good R.D.H.'s...an watch your office too...they may be in the market for R.D.H.'s....$$$ sometimes is the bottom line...VET

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JackiePa in Encinitas, California

55 months ago

Please look again at the title of this message forum. "Job Market Outlook for Sunny San Diego". How you came into the picture, I am still not certain? This is a job forum, and your opinion isn't helping anyone in the area, especially the soon to be RDH that had the question to begin with. Encinitas, (San Diego county) is doing quite well considering the current market. That is why I started posting, to reply to the person who initially had the interest in my area. I am through going back and forth with you, that is not the purpose if this forum. Good luck being bitter with our profession. You have no education of our city and how the dental market is. I am sorry again if you were caught up in an office who decided they didn't want you and had to look elsewhere. Please know, this isn't the market as a whole, and it is definitely not most dental offices. (And to keep clicking on your YES to "what this comment helpful" and my NO... is just too funny. We are the only ones who are really reading this at the moment anyway ;)

BACK TO HYGIENISTS' LOOKING FOR WORK IN SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA:
Economy is slow here in San Diego, but it is not impossible to find a good job. Check the search engines for work, local newspapers, and definitely walk into dental offices around the community you are living in. Dentists and front desk staff love to meet people face to face. You never know what is going on in that office, if they a have a hygienist who is leaving/pregnant/ etc. So go drop off your resumes in person!

If you are interested in temping in San Diego first:
Sterling Staffing and San Diego Dental Personal are the top 2 placement agents here! They don't advertise very much, so google both of those names to get their information. Temping is a great way for new RDH's moving to the area or new graduates to get a taste of the real world. This allows you to find what 'works for you' and what type of practice you'd like to be apart of.

HAPPY SEARCHING in beautiful CA!!

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DHBA in San Diego, California

55 months ago

I'm going to have to agree w/ the majority of writers on here. RDH's are a dime a dozen right now, competition is fierce, and we're replaceable at any moment...to think otherwise is just plain foolish. Jackie as you stated you JUST moved back to San Diego and found a job right away, so you don't have ANY idea what the job market is like, especially when an entire graduating class is let loose w/ their new licenses and told to find a job. As far as temping, it's winter and notoriously their slowest time of the year. I challenge you to check the search engines, papers etc., I guarantee you that today you will find 1, haven't checked the paper today, so MAYBE 2 ads. $400/day, 4days/week w/ benefits great find, it's RARE. It's hard to go into an office and expect $400/day knowing the majority is willing to except $360, sometimes you have to lower your expectations.

It's offensive for you to assume that if one loses their job it's b/c they "weren't wanted," maybe there was a difference of philosophy of practice, maybe the DDS was a prick (got ALOT of those), maybe the old RDH that everyone loved wanted to come back, maybe an old RDA turned RDH and was returning, these are ALL examples of situations my fellow SWC grads have experienced...the point is there are MANY reasons why one could lose their job and it's NOBODYS right to pass judgment. But I'm sure at this point you're blaming our schooling, b/c after all you did go to the Uni of Colorado...but last I checked we all have the SAME license from the beautiful state of CALIFORNIA.

I hope you are portraying a better personality in your office than you are on here, since your first entry you have been nothing but aggressive and defensive, and for what... b/c others have expressed their frustrations, experiences and opinions. Just b/c one maybe fed up with their situation and the flooded market doesn't mean they are less of an RDH, hate the profession, lack skills or any of the other negative things you have said.

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JackiePa in Encinitas, California

55 months ago

DHBA: I understand you agree with the previous person's post, but this is a public forum for people to share their opinions, experiences, and suggestions. That is just what I did. I would never go down a negative route unless it was approached first (as you can see above). You forgot to touch on the 2 biggest things for RDH's in San Diego to do to help them find employment: walking into offices PERSONALLY or temping. I may have been "lucky", yes. But I was at a convention in LA 2 weeks ago and met several women who found jobs by walking in themselves (which is why I suggested it in the first place). Temping is going tremendously well with the agencies I was working with before I found work (and is still going well for some girlfriends of mine). If you are living in SD, then you may want to try them for yourself. Search engines are the very last resort, as job openings that are posted on there are not an accurate portrayal of what is really available in our city.

Again, this is a "free for all" message board and if you were offended by my passion, love and interest for our profession, I'm sorry. By the use of your words and the previous poster, you do not feel the same way, and it shows. I also did not mean for my degree to cause any frustration for anyone, not really sure why that was incorporated into your worries, but maybe it's because I did get a bachelor's degree? And you must know in this economy, more education is better, as I previously stated. I am also licensed in the Central region of our country (11 states); if the economy was that bad, I'd go practice in Hawaii! I am also laser certified which has helped me tremendously since I am working in a Perio office. AGAIN, my interest in the career is what keeps my patients coming back and is what Dr.s appreciate... I also wish you good luck in your future endeavors with our (your) profession. :)

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JackiePa in Encinitas, California

55 months ago

PS. If any of the previous RDH's who have written are not member of the ADHA, I would advise doing so. There is a new article about the progression hygiene is making and is supposed to make by 2013. A very interesting article which is worth the read!

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exp in Epping, New Hampshire

55 months ago

JackiePa in Encinitas, California said: I highly disagree with the Dexter comment above. I am a new graduate from the University of Colorado and have just moved back to San Diego. I found a job right away about 2 months ago, working 4 days a week which is perfect for me. I love the profession, the patients, all of the above. My mom is a hygienist and is still in love with our profession after 25 years of practicing. It saddens me to hear people talk about the profession in the way the user did up top (Dexter). This person is clearly unhappy with her career choice and is right. She should stay very far away from the profession. Those aren't the type of people to have in dentistry anyway. As long as you are polite and not a pre madonna hygienist, no one will be jealous of you. Just respect your assistants and the patients. My dentist gives us benefits and treats us to lunch once a week. It truly is the best profession... HAPPY Searching, something will come. Not all offices are slow, there are a ton that are booming! GOOD LUCK fellow RDH's!

Jackie, Why is it that anyone who doesn't agree with you, you feel sad for and feel they shouldn't be in this field? Not, everyone is fortunate to find work due to the many coming into this field: sometimes for the Dr., people are replaced for money reasons, and with all the new grad's, etc., they have a wide choice of professionals. Don't put down those trying to find employment. Dexter....I hope things, turn around for you. Jackie, have you read other threads of those from CA? You know, maybe, the number of R.D.H.'s in CA is higher than you think and many may be relocating to sunny CA?, like you did...Everyone has opinions...let others have theirs...and not put them down because they don't right now.

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exp in Epping, New Hampshire

55 months ago

correction...and not put them down because they don't have A JOB in their chosen profession right now.....

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JackiePa in San Diego, California

55 months ago

At least I'm educated right? ;) Thanks for squeezing that in there. Having more skills and more education makes you incredibly more ahead of the game. Why do you think ads as for laser certifications or Dentrix experience? Or have you not seen any of those in Indiana? Indiana! Haha.. you are completely blind sighted by the price of my city. Of course I can pay my rent.. and believe it or not.. get ready... I even live 3 blocks from the beach! No kidding! But it's good you think it's too expensive, we don't need anymore people out here that's for sure. BACK to hygiene... I wasn't trying to make anyone jealous about my current situation, but obviously I have pushed some buttons. It's funny how some of you get so upset with a stranger's opinion! I just sit here and smile:)

Just to touch on a couple of your complaints: OF COURSE I would recommend our amazing profession to a man, but there are only women involved with this job forumn... didn't even realize I left out the other gender. But thank you for pointing that out!

Dental Hygiene is a rewarding career, as I have said over and over and will continue to do. The fact that so many of you get upset with me for stating my opinion is ludicrous. You clearly haven't been as fortunate, you don't know the market in my area of the country (although you comment as if you may), and you're all plain bitter. GO COMPLAIN ELSEWHERE! Its not about agreeing with me or disagreeing with me. You people are only complaining about the"over saturation" of private clinical practice! The beauty of hygiene are that there are SO MANY OTHER OPTIONS! you seem to leave all that out for the fellow perspective RDH's. Again to you Indiana.... where I'm sure you're right, the market and state sucks there, good luck! ;) I invite you to respond because all it does is humor me how all of you people get so angry!!!!! you really are making my day:) MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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hyg sucks in Richmond, Virginia

55 months ago

I'm going to add my 2 cents, the econmy as a whole is messed up. Where I live there are only like 6 hygiene schools in the whole state. Most of Va is country and some people would rather have their teeth pulled then saved. Ca has always been known for good pay and jobs, but watch out. There are alot of hygs on this forum stating they are planning on moving there. We have a problem now in Northern Va with hygs from Michigan coming through the temp agency. They actually are ripping these hygs off by paying them $32 an hr when they should be making atleast $45 an hr. Why would a DDS pay a hyg more money when they can get the work done cheaper. This will soon be happening all over. I'm glad you enjoy hyg. So do I but I don't like the mistreatment I have dealt with. Ca can't be all that great when you only work PT and temp the other days and still looking for perm work. There are hygs from Ca posting how the job market is bad out there too. I don't take anything you say to heart because you are young and haven't gotten your feet wet yet. The main problem with hyg is the lack of unity, support, and benefits. All the education in the world is not going to guarantee you a job. There are alot of unemployed educated people!!!!

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olga` in Lake Stevens, Washington

55 months ago

why are you wasting ur time on this stuff
list some statistics ppl

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exp in North Hampton, New Hampshire

54 months ago

Hi Olga, Statistics most likely can be found from each states board of Dentistry; we who are commenting above are stating experience from many sides as you can see, of what is happening in careers of those with work, P.T., F.T., intermittent....But some, who are new and have been fortunate to have reg/set/days and hours...can't understand our views...only offer that we are in the wrong field are not passionate, and have problems...how young are these people with such tunnel vision of there fellow colleagues? I hope their personality in the practice setting is different than their online persona...GL to all the experienced R.D.H.'s consistenly pursuing employment.*

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echoesofis in Ankeny, Iowa

53 months ago

Thank you for your post. ATTITUDE is everything, I agree. :)

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ANN in Virginia Beach, Virginia

53 months ago

I'm a recent dental hygiene graduate and I've noticed that a lot of the girls that I graduated with were having a hard time finding jobs. We were all competing for the same position, some were maybe 2 days a week with no benefits, sick time, holidays, etc. ; however, areas where there are also dental schools didnt seem to have this issue. Could it be the hygienist to dentaL graduate ratio that affects the amount of jobs availble for dental hyginiests?

I was fortunate enough to get an offer right out of school and started out only work 2, maybe 3 days a week. When one of the part-time hygienists in my office left, I was moved to 4 days a week. And although I love my job, my office, and my profession, one of the cons to working in my office is the lack of benefits like sick time, paid holidays, vacation, etc. My dentist does offer a retirement program in which he matches what we put away for retirement. He also takes the office on yearly trips, with hotel and airfare paid, and we have little perks here and there. It's really up to the office that you work at because not all offices are like this. I have one friend who works for a large practice and gets full benefits and then I have another friend who works for a very small practice where the dentist under pays her, double books her schedule, and refuses to put her on full-time.

Hygiene is really no different to any other position out there during an economic recession, everyone is at risk for being replaced or losing their job. I think everyone has made valid points about this industry- it's just the pros and the cons of dental hygiene.

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waterbug100 in Nanaimo, British Columbia

53 months ago

Hi ANN, I would disagree that DH is no different during an economic recession than any other job.

I don't know exactly how it works in the States, but in Canada, we are reliant on the middle/upper income group..they're the ones with dental plans and the cash to have dental care.

Unfortunately, the middle income people, and retired people have been badly hit with this recession, and there goes the majority of most dental clients.

Quite a number of DDS have had to close a day or so because their clients are not willing or cannot spend their money on dental care As a post before you stated, people are coming in to have their teeth pulled, not fixed. Some clients are still in good shape financially, but many are not.

So, my long winded point is...we depend on the market for our bread and butter, and the market is bad, slow, non existent. You are in an office that seems to be doing fine, but I think you are one of the lucky ones.

Are you finding any more pressure on you to sell dentistry? That certainly is the case in a huge amount of offices.

Money is scarce, and dentistry is seen as a luxury, not a health issue, and not a priority.

IMHO, I disagree with you completely. We are absolutely at the mercy of the market. Dentistry doesn't have a huge client base - because we only cater to a very specific percentage of the population - the rich and the fortunate few with dental plans.

Which is sad and wrong, but that's a whole other discussion.

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exp in Exeter, New Hampshire

53 months ago

ANN in Virginia Beach, Virginia said: I'm a recent dental hygiene graduate and I've noticed that a lot of the girls that I graduated with were having a hard time finding jobs. We were all competing for the same position, some were maybe 2 days a week with no benefits, sick time, holidays, etc. ; however, areas where there are also dental schools didnt seem to have this issue. Could it be the hygienist to dentaL graduate ratio that affects the amount of jobs availble for dental hyginiests?

I was fortunate enough to get an offer right out of school and started out only work 2, maybe 3 days a week. When one of the part-time hygienists in my office left, I was moved to 4 days a week. And although I love my job, my office, and my profession, one of the cons to working in my office is the lack of benefits like sick time, paid holidays, vacation, etc. My dentist does offer a retirement program in which he matches what we put away for retirement. He also takes the office on yearly trips, with hotel and airfare paid, and we have little perks here and there. It's really up to the office that you work at because not all offices are like this. I have one friend who works for a large practice and gets full benefits and then I have another friend who works for a very small practice where the dentist under pays her, double books her schedule, and refuses to put her on full-time.

Hygiene is really no different to any other position out there during an economic recession, everyone is at risk for being replaced or losing their job. I think everyone has made valid points about this industry- it's just the pros and the cons of dental hygiene.

Ann, You get more than the majority, be happy that you have it...it can be gone tommorrow because of the oversaturation...continued SELLING of D.H. programs with dreams of $$$ and abundance of work for everyone who wants it, BLS: TOTALLY WRONG = TOO MANY NOT ENOUGH WORK FOR ALL!

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ANN in Virginia Beach, Virginia

53 months ago

exp in Exeter- Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate what I get and what I have. I definitely do have it better than most and I really love the people that I work with.

And to answer your questions Waterbug100, I'm very fortunate that my office isn't about numbers and pressing for sales. I'm glad because I don't like being pushy or feeling that I have to make a sale. Our office is based on what's best for the patient and what they are capable of financially. Of course, I make recommendations as to what I think would best benefit the patient and their treatment, explain all costs and then I'll let the patients decided whether they can afford it or not. I have a friend who works in an office where hyginiest are given quarterly bonuses for their sales and I just feel that it pushes a hygienist for the wrong reasons. I could be wrong, but that's just me.

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waterbug100 in Nanaimo, British Columbia

52 months ago

ANN - you are one of the fortunate few, relish it and hopefully you will be in that position for a long, long time.

Just please don't be encouraging new people to go into this profession at this time..it is not nearly as pleasant a world as the one you exist it.

Reality is what exp. described. Hygienists are pitted against each other, asked to clean the office, sent home if no patients, made to sign ridiculous contracts etc.

So, please don't actively support people trying to become hygienists. It's very bad out here. Please read all the dental hygiene forums...they are all saying the same thing.

Support people going into other health fields, not DH.

Good luck to you.

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JackiePa in San Diego, California

52 months ago

ANN in Virginia Beach, Virginia said: exp in Exeter- Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate what I get and what I have. I definitely do have it better than most and I really love the people that I work with.

And to answer your questions Waterbug100, I'm very fortunate that my office isn't about numbers and pressing for sales. I'm glad because I don't like being pushy or feeling that I have to make a sale. Our office is based on what's best for the patient and what they are capable of financially. Of course, I make recommendations as to what I think would best benefit the patient and their treatment, explain all costs and then I'll let the patients decided whether they can afford it or not. I have a friend who works in an office where hyginiest are given quarterly bonuses for their sales and I just feel that it pushes a hygienist for the wrong reasons. I could be wrong, but that's just me.

Hey Ann, I am in your boat as well as being fortunate to be in an awesome position. There are a lot of older RDH's that have become upset with the fact that new graduates come in and find work, etc. I know I am going to spark an argument here, and that is not my intention. But I have seen a lot of these RDH's arguing their points for months now. The bottom line is that Dental Hygiene is an incredible, rewarding profession, and I am so happy that you are enthusiastic about your job like I am! I have successful friends and my mother has been in the same office, still practicing for almost 20 years! If you'd like to email me, we could take off of this message board, because I know there are a ton of people who complain about the over saturation, poor treatment, etc. But there are others, like us, who would strongly disagree and are not experiencing that treatment! Best of luck to you Ann!!

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waterbug100 in Nanaimo, British Columbia

52 months ago

JackiePa...there are a lot of "younger" RDHs that are "upset" as well as new graduates.

Glad you both have great jobs and are happy, good luck to you both.

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exp in Exeter, New Hampshire

52 months ago

waterbug100 in Nanaimo, British Columbia said: JackiePa...there are a lot of "younger" RDHs that are "upset" as well as new graduates.

Glad you both have great jobs and are happy, good luck to you both.

Hi H2Obug, I still think Jackie PA, sounds above others, esp. in her comment :"There are alot of older RDH's that have become upset with the fact....". What we don't like is that many are going into the DH field, not fully researching the situation...Jackie, you, have a mother in a practice, so you had an in probably at that office when you were attending school. If you were not to have that...most likely you would be looking for employment, as many recent grads, and some out a little longer are experiencing. I feel it was your mother being estab. at a practice which gave you your position....not meant to be negative, nasty...but look at your sit. compared to the many out there.

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SD DH in Redondo Beach, California

52 months ago

hey Jackie PA, where do you work?! im from SD and im finishing up hygiene school in Orange County. Do you hear of DDS's looking for hygienists ever? And to you others, was it this bad before, and if it wasnt, wont it get better?

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waterbug100 in Nanaimo, British Columbia

52 months ago

Hi SD...your question breaks my heart. Yes, it used to be much better..more jobs, more respect, but those days are gone, and no one knows for how long.

There are too many schools, in both the States and Canada. The schools are making a ton of money off you, so they will continue to grad more and more, until word gets out that there really are no jobs anymore.

So, there are many of you looking for work, and there is very, very little out there.

I don't know when it will get better. There is are big changes in hygiene right now, and really, no one knows for sure about anything.

Sorry to tell you, but the writing was on the wall a few years ago. Some of these posts are over 2 years old, and they were talking about too many hygienists then.

Can you try to get into another healthcare field?

Good luck to you, and all the others out there.

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SD DH in Redondo Beach, California

52 months ago

nah, im gonna stick it out, i have worked way too hard :)

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JackiePa in San Diego, California

52 months ago

Hey SD,

We need to chat over email... because we will be disagreed with and argued with by Canadians and RDH's from all over the country to have different opinions and experiences. Email me! jpaisal@gmail.com

There are a lot of negative influences on this page so learn to never take anything 100% to heart while on these postings! They are opinion and not FACT!

As for me, I have no connection to my mother's office (who is a veteran RDH). She lives over an hour in a half from me and had no influences on my office or networking. Sure, the field of dental hygiene is not what it was only 5 years ago. BUT, there are several things you can do to make yourself stand out, especially in this market. ALL fields will be slow during a recession, dental hygiene is no different. Sure, there are multiple nurse postings every single day but if you want to work 12 hours day, with awful hours and very little pay... then go to nursing school! You are under-appreciated and underpayed, (says a few of my nurse friends).

I was recently soft tissue laser certified and by doing that (taking a $700 class plus 8 CE credits), I scored a job in a perio office 1 day a week, (in addition to the 3 days I'm practicing). By "upping" your credentials, you will make yourself more appealing. A few dentists have personally told me, this is what they look for.... RDH's with more to talk about on their resumes! So I went and built mine, and it worked.

I also walked around in person to dental office and dropped of my resume. I printed out about 50 resumes and personally dropped them off around my comminiuty so the office could put a "face to a piece of paper".

THE ENTIRE WORLD IS IN A RECESSION!! -This means to not give up or quit your passion (which dental hygiene is to me), but you have to try even harder to get that position. It is about standing out and putting in more effort than the "average joe!"

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JackiePa in San Diego, California

52 months ago

**I maxed out the box so I will continue here:*

The bottom line, in this economy is to make yourself stand out in any way you can. Build your credentials, introduce yourself, sign up for all the temp agencies and call them daily, and NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK!!!

Seriously, this helps!

SD, are you going to the ADHA Annual Session in Vegas this June? This is a great way to meet fellow RDH's and Drs. and it is a great way to network and educate yourself more on our awesome profession. If none of these RDH's who are commenting over an over again, even plan on attending our annual session... then I would not even give their opinion the time of day. The reason a lot of these RDH's don't have employment is because they are not passionate and excited about the profession. They are not giving back to the hygiene community!

I have helped in lower income areas all over the world, including Hurricane katrina to our own back yard in Colorado (where I graduated DH school). People are realizing and being educated on the fact that oral hygiene IS connected to overall total health, and by seeing a hygienist, we will save them HUNDREDS of dollars in the long run that dental work will cost them! THIS is what brings your patients back and keeps the dental world booming. It's not about sales but about education.

It takes a special RDH to relay this information to their patients!

SD, I look forward to chatting with you!! Email me! Good luck with school...are you taking your written boards soon!? I took the clinical at USC and I'll give you some great tips! Talk to you soon and GOOD LUCK!

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JackiePa in San Diego, California

52 months ago

waterbug100 in Nanaimo, British Columbia said: Hi SD...your question breaks my heart. Yes, it used to be much better..more jobs, more respect, but those days are gone, and no one knows for how long.

There are too many schools, in both the States and Canada. The schools are making a ton of money off you, so they will continue to grad more and more, until word gets out that there really are no jobs anymore.

So, there are many of you looking for work, and there is very, very little out there.

I don't know when it will get better. There is are big changes in hygiene right now, and really, no one knows for sure about anything.

Sorry to tell you, but the writing was on the wall a few years ago. Some of these posts are over 2 years old, and they were talking about too many hygienists then.

Can you try to get into another healthcare field?

Good luck to you, and all the others out there.

CANADA.... WHY do you feel like you have such a say for the CALIFORNIA market??? You should NOT be giving any advice in this area! Offering your OPINION is fine, but do NOT stray fellow hygiene students away from our profession because your country is doing poorly, OR because you personally have had bad luck.

I'm sorry but it's just not ethical or fair for you to hold such posts, when you really aren't even part of our country. I'm sure the EXPERIENCED rdh in NH will disagree with me, as usual... but again, we are all writing from different parts of the continent!

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exp in Exeter, New Hampshire

52 months ago

Jackie, Why is it, again I say this...that if someone doesn't agree, or have the view as you, you attack : "...or because you personall y have had bad luck...". Everybody is allowed to voice their opinions, but you don't? Don't you think many in Canada and OTHER states can speak to threads...? Putdown colleagues, whether you think so or not , we are and feel differently on many subjects....don't you think we go beyond what we learned in school? I also, have additional skills , cert's, etc....but there is an abundance of RDH's in the market...many NEW and recent grad's even ask, where are the jobs? They have done many of the same things you've mentioned....you are fortunate to have set hours and days...some don't, it is not for lack of trying,...daily.

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JackiePa in San Diego, California

52 months ago

New Hampshire... I ask you, you constantly state the over abundance problem, and you are clearly referring to private clinical practice. Have you ever looked into the other things that hygienists can do other than just PRIVATE practice!?

How about some of the few that I am interested in: dental forensics, cleft lip/palate clinics, public health, vet dentistry... the list goes on and on. There are a plethora of jobs out there for dental hygienists, other than just the same old same old general private practice office.

These are advices we should be giving to fellow graduate, not trying to push them out of a profession that they are interested in and passionate about. Opinions are fine. I'm giving mine and you are giving yours. I am not trying to attack you or any of the RDH's on this wall. I am just stating that there are OPTIONS and in this economy you need to be pounding the pavement seeking those out, or you're absolutely right, you will not find work!

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exp in Exeter, New Hampshire

52 months ago

J PA...How about taking a poll online here, pose your question and see how many really want to start off in their career as RDH's going into: Dental forensics, public health...I feel, MO, that most want to go into practice and make some money...not necessarily want to go for more schooling...they want an income to pay back loans, etc...If they choose further ed, when 2+yrs. is completed...and they can afford more schooling to further their degree to a BS or MA great...but , still, I bet most want to work "in offices and utilize their skills for awhile...."= oversaturation in practice. I also, think it wrong , for the present time to recommend this field as a career, esp. when work is hard to find and many don't receive benefits....Are you planning on going further in your ed. "out of practice", now(?), if not now when?

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JackiePa in San Diego, California

52 months ago

Surely you understand that a poll between the 5-10 of us would not serve as accurate. None of the other options I listed require furthering your degree, but yes, that of course is always an option during one's future as an RDH.

I understand that it has been awhile now since you were in hygiene school. We were explained all the different options we had as hygienists and believe it or not, only half of my class (there were 20 of us), went into private practice. This can take a toll on the body and I know several people who did not choose to go straight to PP.

With that being said, are you required to take CE courses in NH, like we are in CA? I have to take 25 every 2 years to keep my license updated. This has allowed me to explore the other options we have and obtain hard facts about pay/benefits/responsibilities. You may feel, along with many others, that at the present time this is a bad field to enter. I, along with many others that I know (maybe not directly on this posting), believe it is a great career to enter into right now.

I personally would love to get involved with Veterinary dentistry because I love animals as well. I have already inquired about this around my community and know for a fact there is work currently in this field, since more research is breaking that animals experience the same oral/overall body health that we do. There is no further education needed for this.

Just because you went straight to private practice, may have gotten burned out after your 25 years of practice, I don't know? It doesn't mean that someone else is going to have the same experience.

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DH in Calgary, Alberta

52 months ago

Don't know about California but I think you have to (or its recommended?) you have a VT cert in order to do vet dentistry....another 2 years of FT school. And if you plan to do anesthesia than it has to be in the presence of a veterinarian...for less pay than you'd be making now. Might want to look into that before you decide you don't need any further education. I'm thinking at the very least you're going to want that anesthesia or risk losing a finger (or two!) haha

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Susann in Columbus, Ohio

52 months ago

JackiePa in San Diego, California said: Hey SD,

We need to chat over email... because we will be disagreed with and argued with by Canadians and RDH's from all over the country to have different opinions and experiences. Email me! jpaisal@gmail.com

There are a lot of negative influences on this page so learn to never take anything 100% to heart while on these postings! They are opinion and not FACT!

As for me, I have no connection to my mother's office (who is a veteran RDH). She lives over an hour in a half from me and had no influences on my office or networking. Sure, the field of dental hygiene is not what it was only 5 years ago. BUT, there are several things you can do to make yourself stand out, especially in this market. ALL fields will be slow during a recession, dental hygiene is no different. Sure, there are multiple nurse postings every single day but if you want to work 12 hours day, with awful hours and very little pay... then go to nursing school! You are under-appreciated and underpayed, (says a few of my nurse friends).

I was recently soft tissue laser certified and by doing that (taking a $700 class plus 8 CE credits), I scored a job in a perio office 1 day a week, (in addition to the 3 days I'm practicing). By "upping" your credentials, you will make yourself more appealing. A few dentists have personally told me, this is what they look for.... RDH's with more to talk about on their resumes! So I went and built mine, and it worked.

I also walked around in person to dental office and dropped of my resume. I printed out about 50 resumes and personally dropped them off around my comminiuty so the office could put a "face to a piece of paper".

THE ENTIRE WORLD IS IN A RECESSION!! -This means to not give up or quit your passion (which dental hygiene is to me), but you have to try even harder to get that position. It is about standing out and putting in more effort than the "average joe!"

Great attitude!!! :)

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exp in Exeter, New Hampshire

52 months ago

JackiePa in San Diego, California said: Surely you understand that a poll between the 5-10 of us would not serve as accurate. None of the other options I listed require furthering your degree, but yes, that of course is always an option during one's future as an RDH.

I understand that it has been awhile now since you were in hygiene school. We were explained all the different options we had as hygienists and believe it or not, only half of my class (there were 20 of us), went into private practice. This can take a toll on the body and I know several people who did not choose to go straight to PP.

With that being said, are you required to take CE courses in NH, like we are in CA? I have to take 25 every 2 years to keep my license updated. This has allowed me to explore the other options we have and obtain hard facts about pay/benefits/responsibilities. You may feel, along with many others, that at the present time this is a bad field to enter. I, along with many others that I know (maybe not directly on this posting), believe it is a great career to enter into right now.

I personally would love to get involved with Veterinary dentistry because I love animals as well. I have already inquired about this around my community and know for a fact there is work currently in this field, since more research is breaking that animals experience the same oral/overall body health that we do. There is no further education needed for this.

Just because you went straight to private practice, may have gotten burned out after your 25 years of practice, I don't know? It doesn't mean that someone else is going to have the same experience.

J, AGAIN with the ATTACK of me and the "older" RDH's....it seems a theme that you have to throw-up each time you speak on threads. So, "5-10 on this "? Can you see that you are in the minority on finding reg/set/hours/days??? Many, I feel DO pursue PP, = oversaturation.

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exp in Exeter, New Hampshire

52 months ago

To J. , I am not burned out, and you being new to the field, don't understand the MANY who offer DIFFERENT info, many with the experience which you don't yet possess. If you are so interested in Vet HYG., go find a position in it, this may allow others to have your position, maybe even 2 RDH's at this point. Also, if you chose to leave your current position...how easy do you think it would be to obtain another position, quickly/readily? I think you would be in the current situation of being one of many resumes "with all the lic/cert's, etc." in the Dr.'s file...

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JackiePa in San Diego, California

52 months ago

NH.... I am not trying to personally attack you, sometimes words are misconstrued on a message board. BUT i would be willing to bet that if you spent as much time arguing your opinion, which isn't much, back and forth on 15 different boards to a bunch of strangers... and instead were pounding the pavement looking for a job.. You might have some better success.

Like I said months ago, the arguing does nothing to help you find work. Over saturation is all you have been complaining about. You do NOT live in CA. Your state is TEENSY TINY, which might contribute to the over saturation in your area. Again, it's all your opinion.

I am simply stating the facts that there are MORE to do out there in the field of hygiene. And like you've have stated, we have a bad economy. If one does not WANT to go into anything else but private practice, then sure, maybe they will have a harder time finding a job. But just HAVING a job would be more worth it to me... so they might want to start searching outside of PP.

Luckily, I am happy in my job, so NO, I will not be leaving at the current time. BUT if I did choose to go into something different and still do PP for 2 days a week or so, well, that is my prerogative.

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exp in Exeter, New Hampshire

52 months ago

J. YES, YOU ARE 'ATTACKING', not only ME but the many who ARE "POUNDING THE PAVEMENT..." as you choose to continue to throw at us...you are young and think you know more than the many who are LOOKING, yes , we ARE, on a DAILY, basis. I think that if you were to leave the nice position you are fortunate to have NOW, it would NOT be so easy to find another position....and you also, continue to think many are ready to spend more , while in debt now and needing and income to GO BACK TO SCHOOL. THIS is not as feasible as you seem to think. So I guess, unless you choose to see others views you will continue to disagree, and putdown colleagues not as fortunate as you (right now). I'm sure you will continue to respond to me as well as the MANY other RDH's who continue to view differently from YOU.

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