Dental Hygiene or RN Nursing?! (California)

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Jessica love in Los Angeles, California

59 months ago

Hi. I am really confused with which career path to take. I do know that DH is flooded right now, and I do not know if things will pick up. I have also applied to nursing but I hear that it is hard to find a job as well b/c new grad nurses need 1 yr experience (but if you are a new grad how can you get experience if you are a new grad....?) ...I have been accepted to PCC and Cerritos Dental Hygiene program. Mt sac has a 2 year waitlist for the RN nursing program. And I am still waiting for pCC nursing program's letter...I have been exposed to the DH field and like it. For nursing I hear it is 3 days of 12 hour shifts, but many nurses work more than one job just to make that "80k" salary so it is more like working 5-6 days (that is a lot of work!!)...Any input would be great.

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exp in Epping, New Hampshire

59 months ago

Jessica love in Los Angeles, California said: Hi. I am really confused with which career path to take. I do know that DH is flooded right now, and I do not know if things will pick up. I have also applied to nursing but I hear that it is hard to find a job as well b/c new grad nurses need 1 yr experience (but if you are a new grad how can you get experience if you are a new grad....?) ...I have been accepted to PCC and Cerritos Dental Hygiene program. Mt sac has a 2 year waitlist for the RN nursing program. And I am still waiting for pCC nursing program's letter...I have been exposed to the DH field and like it. For nursing I hear it is 3 days of 12 hour shifts, but many nurses work more than one job just to make that "80k" salary so it is more like working 5-6 days (that is a lot of work!!)...Any input would be great.

Hi Jessica, YOU answered your own "?" in the 2nd sentence... RDH's are not receiving the BENENFIT PKG's that Nurses do...we are on our own for alot!!! IMO, if you are young, I'd go for the Nursing program...sure they may have 12 hour days, BUT...BUT...you are more likely to have benefits, med/dent/vaca/sick days...MANY RDH's don't even receive sick days...and if your sched. falls apart, you may be asked to clock out...sick and / or vaca? What are they?,....and we don't get "paid" for them either. Now, I'm sure others will say I am neg...what I'm giving you, as are many others (even working RDH's) is REALITY of our field. If in say, 5+ yrs. you still are interested...you'll have more medical knowledge and maybe some savings set aside so you won't have to take out loans, which many DH's are finding hard to payback because they are unable to get even 1 regular set day with set hours.....go with Nursing....if you have inbetween time, maybe you can, work in a medical office as a receptionist or internship...GL it's your future. If you choose DH, start saving NOW: IRA, MM, don't spend frivously on things not needed...

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Jessica love in Los Angeles, California

59 months ago

do you not think that the market may change 2 years from now if I go into the program and graduate? I have also heard it is hard to find work as an RN right now as well (not sure about 2 yrs from now ...) and also you need 1 yr work experience but you cant get work experience if you are a new grad and NEED to work in order to find a job....

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exp in Epping, New Hampshire

59 months ago

Jessica love in Los Angeles, California said: do you not think that the market may change 2 years from now if I go into the program and graduate? I have also heard it is hard to find work as an RN right now as well (not sure about 2 yrs from now ...) and also you need 1 yr work experience but you cant get work experience if you are a new grad and NEED to work in order to find a job....

Hi, Unfortunately , IMO , unless you have an "in" at a Dental office, it's slim pickin's, and I don't say it this way to make light of a tough sit.....DH, is not what it once was, and to tell you in two or so yrs. it will be different...from the market now, which is "OVERSATURATED", in my opinion of seeing and being in the field through good and bad (NOW), it's not the choice I would recommend....Have you looked into Resp. therapist, other med fields,etc....? Think of what would afford you ben's down the road, unless you are independently wealthy, it's not the field....not medical, totally separate from medical.....GL on your future career.

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Jessica love in Los Angeles, California

59 months ago

I have at least 2 days guaranteed at an dental office ( it looks like it pays 250 ish a day..) but then I would have to find another 2-3 days at another office .... do you know anything about the RN field Exp from New hampshire ??

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Suzanne in Columbus, Indiana

59 months ago

I'm not trying to rain on your parade but the 2 guaranteed days can be gone in the blink of an eye. Find the other 2-3 days and try to stay visible for subbing and temping too. FYI, working in 2 or 3 offices is what the majority of hygienists have to do to make a week's pay. Good luck.

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exp in Epping, New Hampshire

59 months ago

Jessica love in Los Angeles, California said: I have at least 2 days guaranteed at an dental office ( it looks like it pays 250 ish a day..) but then I would have to find another 2-3 days at another office .... do you know anything about the RN field Exp from New hampshire ??

Hi, I'm not aware of any problems in relation to the DH field as to the Nursing field...BUT, I bet you are more likely to find employment with "BENEFITS!!!", compared to the drop in wages, work availability, etc. that we RDH's are experiencing...for many years to come. Some say it is just as hard , pay is lower, hours are long and some weekends...but when you are ready to retire....you HAVE A BENEFIT PKG., MED, ETC.....Never just go by what we say with all the experiences online, but my route if I were 20-30 something would be to go with a career where you receive ben's, many RDH's get .....zilch! The fortunate few who do, are in the minority, and even their jobs IMHO are not safe...there seems to be alot of new Dr.'s buying practices, and the first to go so they get more are the RDH's. Nursing for piece of mind and retirement....you'll be happy for this when you are older....many just think of the hourly wage and work when I want mentality now....NOT REALISTIC IN THE OVERABUNDANT workplace for the RDH's now. Pay , hours, days are what the Dr.'s TELL you you will get....sorry for the above but it is happening now and I don't see it turning around for our profession. GL

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Chelsea in Burnaby, British Columbia

59 months ago

I would pick the RDH route if I was in California. My friend works in Brentwood, CA as a RDH. She is on 30% commision with a base pay of 400$/day. Most days, she takes home 500$ +. I was talking to her recently and she says that the job market for RDH in some of the smaller towns and suburbs of cali is pretty good right now.

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30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta

59 months ago

Chelsea in Burnaby, British Columbia said: I would pick the RDH route if I was in California. My friend works in Brentwood, CA as a RDH. She is on 30% commision with a base pay of 400$/day. Most days, she takes home 500$ +. I was talking to her recently and she says that the job market for RDH in some of the smaller towns and suburbs of cali is pretty good right now.

The DH market is flooded in California....there are TONS of schools....DH's are unemployed and underemployed all over california.... DH is NOT in demand as it used to be.

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exp in Epping, New Hampshire

59 months ago

Chelsea in Burnaby, British Columbia said: I would pick the RDH route if I was in California. My friend works in Brentwood, CA as a RDH. She is on 30% commision with a base pay of 400$/day. Most days, she takes home 500$ +. I was talking to her recently and she says that the job market for RDH in some of the smaller towns and suburbs of cali is pretty good right now.

On commission, you have to be a super salesperson in this day and age of the DH. I think unless you are really happy with selling, then being an RDH who depends on commission...isn't the best route. Plus, how about being able to pay your monthly bills on a questionable salary, income? DH is not the ill prepared, or frivolous spender, you would have to put priorities inline...ie- do I need the new laptop or should I wait and make sure I have $ for bills, CEU's, car, payback of ridiculous loans for my ed., food...I do not say these lightly, many don't know how to budget and spend on what they like not taking into account monthly living expenses....food for thought....GL

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9 year RDH in Virginia in Gainesville, Virginia

58 months ago

You need to follow your heart, my mother was an RN and she loved it there is a big shortage in nursing and if you specialize then more doors open to you , there is also travel nursing andf you don't have to do the er or midnite shift anymore. I was excepted into UVA Nursing and decided Dental Hygiene (single mom at the time) but hygiene is not a bed of roses either school is grueling and the instructors are weeding you out, then working beyond the fact that in order to get changes you have to stick together and alot don't, you also have to deal with the Dentist that resents paying the going payscale also the resentful assistants and front desk, no picnic the bright spot is your patients they should come first their health. I know you think this sounds jaded, but I'm letting you know the truth and I am always asked to give this speech to hopefuls appling to the dental hygiene program only so many spots and you have to really want it. Good Luck:)

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? in Los Angeles, California

58 months ago

30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta said: The DH market is flooded in California....there are TONS of schools....DH's are unemployed and underemployed all over california.... DH is NOT in demand as it used to be.

I find this comment interesting giving your location is in Canada. Do you you live in CA as well? I think we all agree that the job market is poor everywhere including CA. However I am curious as to how you can seem so sure in a statement concerning someplace that it appears you neither work not live.

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30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta

58 months ago

? in Los Angeles, California said: I find this comment interesting giving your location is in Canada. Do you you live in CA as well? I think we all agree that the job market is poor everywhere including CA. However I am curious as to how you can seem so sure in a statement concerning someplace that it appears you neither work not live.

I have two relatives in California who are dental hygienists and have been going through the employment cycles as well as watching DH schools open up on their doorsteps. Also I spend a great deal of time in california over the course of the year. The saturation of DH in the market in califonia is not imaginary. I am aware of several of my relatives and their colleagues who would like more hours in their week, but are unable to get them due to the saturation.

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exp in Epping, New Hampshire

58 months ago

30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta said: I have two relatives in California who are dental hygienists and have been going through the employment cycles as well as watching DH schools open up on their doorsteps. Also I spend a great deal of time in california over the course of the year. The saturation of DH in the market in califonia is not imaginary. I am aware of several of my relatives and their colleagues who would like more hours in their week, but are unable to get them due to the saturation.

Hi 30yr. VET, It always strikes me funny how those saying "you don't live in OUR state....how can you know the market"....Well, it's obvious, the oversaturation has hit IMO, all the states and Canada...but, they maybe don't see those posts??? And if they think it is not the situation in their state, it soon will be, if they say their state is doing well, DH's may move there to find employment...I don't feel in the state of the DH situation at present to recommend this field...if the many in DH now had decent employment, I would say go for it...but to pay out the ridiculous cost of school today and not find a job or only a day ...is not good advice. If you are a DH with a good employer and "set" income that's great , but today's market for anyone looking to train to become, doesn't allow for a real job sit. once done...and it is not the same with other majors....it is not the economy...it is the oversaturation....continuing....

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shyla in Acton, Ontario

58 months ago

the dental hygienist
Association in Ontario has made a submission to the College discussing the situation
of the on site and quality assurance. The report is only available to members of the odha
ontario dental hygienist association. it would beneficial to all hygienist of canada and
the u.s.a. to see this report/or submission.
it discusses fully all the aspects of the portfolio and on site practice assessment/
it goes into great detail all the complaints and issues , and problems that the onsite
and portfolio causes, in terms of harrasment and calibration of assessors...etc.
this report is 5 pages long.
i do hope that the college will address all these issues

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30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta

58 months ago

shyla in Acton, Ontario said: the dental hygienist
Association in Ontario has made a submission to the College discussing the situation
of the on site and quality assurance. The report is only available to members of the odha
ontario dental hygienist association. it would beneficial to all hygienist of canada and
the u.s.a. to see this report/or submission.
it discusses fully all the aspects of the portfolio and on site practice assessment/
it goes into great detail all the complaints and issues , and problems that the onsite
and portfolio causes, in terms of harrasment and calibration of assessors...etc.
this report is 5 pages long.
i do hope that the college will address all these issues

Wow...this has become quite a joke hasn't it.....what a sham. Disturbing.

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30 year vet in Edmonton, Alberta

58 months ago

exp in Epping, New Hampshire said: Hi 30yr. VET, It always strikes me funny how those saying "you don't live in OUR state....how can you know the market"....Well, it's obvious, the oversaturation has hit IMO, all the states and Canada...but, they maybe don't see those posts??? And if they think it is not the situation in their state, it soon will be, if they say their state is doing well, DH's may move there to find employment...I don't feel in the state of the DH situation at present to recommend this field...if the many in DH now had decent employment, I would say go for it...but to pay out the ridiculous cost of school today and not find a job or only a day ...is not good advice. If you are a DH with a good employer and "set" income that's great , but today's market for anyone looking to train to become, doesn't allow for a real job sit. once done...and it is not the same with other majors....it is not the economy...it is the oversaturation....continuing....

Yes EXP....I think we can still be the voice of understanding on here as to how this profession is changing---why, what's happened, who's involved and how it came about. I just think CLARITY is important for those going into the field and at the same time, I wish more RDHs actually took more interest in what is happening and would write, email, phone those involved in the accreditation of these excessive schools, etc..... Every dental hygienist should take an active interest in what is happening in our profession.

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Rachel L in West Palm Beach, Florida

44 months ago

In my opinion, BOTH would be GREAT careers. Personally, I am pursuing a career in Nursing because of all of the opportunities that exist in the profession that do NOT in DH. However, there are pros and cons of BOTH professions, as in any. ask yourself this question....Ask not, "What do I want to BE.." ask yourself, "What do I want to learn?" This may help in your decision making process.

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Mahamed Mahamed in Minneapolis, Minnesota

44 months ago

Well, I've always knew that Dental Hygiene is for those who have rich husbands. The field has become so filled up with greedy people that think they will earn alot of money for no work. I've been searching for my sister, information she needs, she wants to become a RDH, but will settle for Nursing which I believe is a stellar profession.

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exp in Exeter, New Hampshire

44 months ago

Mahamed Mahamed in Minneapolis, Minnesota said: Well, I've always knew that Dental Hygiene is for those who have rich husbands. The field has become so filled up with greedy people that think they will earn alot of money for no work. I've been searching for my sister, information she needs, she wants to become a RDH, but will settle for Nursing which I believe is a stellar profession.

No one should settle for anything, but, they should think about longevity, retirement benefits...for many in our field now, some have them and they are also, playing around with our retirements and take them away! Think of a career also with a possible union...we do not have one and I don't think it will come to fruition either....think forward, past "it's my passion"...this won't pay the bills and after you have big loans to payback , how can you do this if you can't find work or decent paying work? Food for thought.

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mrdh in La Mirada, California

44 months ago

Jessica love in Los Angeles, California said: Hi. I am really confused with which career path to take. QUOTE]

Acutally located in Hollywood, CA

Hi There! Maybe a perspective from a new RDH's point of view might help. NOTE: I'm not saying your experience might be the same, but this is the reality of the situation for myself at this time, but I'm sure as flooded as we are now, things will be a bit more claustrophobic by the time you finish school, so just keep that in mind :)

I recieved my license on July 8th and my BS degree from West Coast University in Anaheim- the instructors are amazing by the way, many of them are from Cerritos and Loma Linda - however it is quite pricey and accelerated, but I enjoyed it. I mentioned I was in the first class and someone on the threads said I'd have issues due to the school having no rep, which I'm happy to report has been no issue whatsoever which is great! After about a month and a half of constant resume distribution to Craigslist postings, maybe 40-50 sent out and what seemed like a very long wait, I am finally employed 3-4 days out of the week at two wonderful offices and recieving great pay-enough to cover loans, savings, some fun, but mostly savings ha. I have also recieved two calls from other offices that have just seen my resume, and I am cleared and eligible now to work in the CA prison system, just waiting on an offer, as their benefits are great which is why I applied.

Frankly, I haven't had too rough an experience other than one D.D.S. offering pay just clearing the DA pay rate, and another D.D.S. saying that my rate of pay was not competitive enough (I got what I wanted somewhere else anyway Muah ha ha) Those were the first two interviews, the offices after have been great. Things seem to have come together for me and I wish others the best of luck.

Hope this little reflection of the current newbie RDH "experience" is helpful. GL!

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mrdh in La Mirada, California

44 months ago

QUOTE who="Jessica love in Los Angeles, California"]Hi. I am really confused with which career path to take. QUOTE]

Hi There! Maybe a perspective from a new RDH's point of view might help. NOTE: I'm not saying your experience might be the same, but this is the reality of the situation for myself at this time, but I'm sure as flooded as we are now, things will be a bit more claustrophobic by the time you finish school, so just keep that in mind :)

I recieved my license on July 8th and my BS degree from West Coast University in Anaheim- the instructors are amazing by the way, many of them are from Cerritos and Loma Linda - however it is quite pricey and accelerated, but I enjoyed it. I mentioned I was in the first class and someone on the threads said I'd have issues due to the school having no rep, which I'm happy to report has been no issue whatsoever which is great! After about a month and a half of constant resume distribution to Craigslist postings, maybe 40-50 sent out and what seemed like a very long wait, I am finally employed 3-4 days out of the week at two wonderful offices and recieving great pay-enough to cover loans, savings, some fun, but mostly savings ha. I have also recieved two calls from other offices that have just seen my resume, and I am cleared and eligible now to work in the CA prison system, just waiting on an offer, as their benefits are great which is why I applied.

Frankly, I haven't had too rough an experience other than one D.D.S. offering pay just clearing the DA pay rate, and another D.D.S. saying that my rate of pay was not competitive enough (I got what I wanted somewhere else anyway Muah ha ha) Those were the first two interviews, the offices after have been great. Things seem to have come together for me and I wish others the best of luck.

Hope this little reflection of the current newbie RDH "experience" is helpful. GL!

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Jessica love in Los Angeles, California

43 months ago

@mrdh would it be possible for me to ask some personal questions through email or something? :)

thanks!!!

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RDHCJ in Boston, Massachusetts

39 months ago

Pick RN! Pick RN! RNs can work in any US state (unlike hygienists whose licenses don't transfer as easily) and most RNs have better pay and benefits compared to RDH. Also there are very few RDH jobs right now. Pick Rn! Please trust me. Or be a Dental assistant (it requires NO training. Apply for a job now that says they will train the right person).

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Mike Allen in Pomona, California

30 months ago

Hey MRDH... I am currently looking in to the DH profession and was interested in the program at WCU. being as though you replied to the original post 13 months ago, I was wondering as the field gotten any better- in your opinion? Also, I was wondering I make ask you about the cost of the program. If you have the time I'd like to discuss this via email (mikeallen1920@gmail.com). Thank you for your original post.

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ElenaRDA in San Diego, California

30 months ago

Mike Allen in Pomona, California said: Hey MRDH... I am currently looking in to the DH profession and was interested in the program at WCU. being as though you replied to the original post 13 months ago, I was wondering as the field gotten any better- in your opinion? Also, I was wondering I make ask you about the cost of the program. If you have the time I'd like to discuss this via email (mikeallen1920@gmail.com). Thank you for your original post.

I think the price for BS at WCU is around 120K when I last talked to a rep. You can call them to find out yourself.

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Eva in Canyon Country, California

27 months ago

Mike Allen in Pomona, California said: Hey MRDH... I am currently looking in to the DH profession and was interested in the program at WCU. being as though you replied to the original post 13 months ago, I was wondering as the field gotten any better- in your opinion? Also, I was wondering I make ask you about the cost of the program. If you have the time I'd like to discuss this via email (mikeallen1920@gmail.com). Thank you for your original post.

Hi Mike, I am also looking into applying to WCU for the dental hygiene program. Cost of the program is $16,800/ semester x 7 semesters, which includes all the prerequisite classes. The length of the program is 2 years and 8 months. It is a bit pricey BUT USC is a little over 110K, for the same bachelor program. I hope this helps!

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steph in Washington, District of Columbia

27 months ago

Eva in Canyon Country, California said: Hi Mike, I am also looking into applying to WCU for the dental hygiene program. Cost of the program is $16,800/ semester x 7 semesters, which includes all the prerequisite classes. The length of the program is 2 years and 8 months. It is a bit pricey BUT USC is a little over 110K, for the same bachelor program. I hope this helps!

That is a lot of money, the job market for DH is terrible. IMO its not worth it

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tori in Salt Lake City, Utah

18 months ago

Hi, I just started college and I am wanting to pursue a DH career because it is flexible and I want to be family oriented someday. I am not worried about pay, DH is something I have wanted to do for a while. However, the school I go to only accepts about 20-25 ppl a year and there are 35,000 students. Now, we all know more than 20 of those students are going to want to be in that program. And i've heard that no matter how good your grades are, you still might not make it in. Plus, you have to have 40 hours experience and your prereqs have to be done before you apply.. call me crazy but thats nuts. I am considering doing RN. It's not my passion but I'm sure I could handle it. Please give me any advice at all. My dad says DH is better and they get paid more for doing less. I really could use some advice : (

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Cerritos College grad in Placentia, California

18 months ago

Sounds like you're worried about not being able to get into the DH program of your choice.

What about the lack of job availability? Isn't that a bigger concern?

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