First day of dental hygiene job...

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (4)

undergroundmole214 in Washington, District of Columbia

35 months ago

Hi everyone! I am a recent dental hygiene graduate and just started my first day as an RDH this week. (Had family problems after graduating so just started practicing since school this week.) I got a temp position that could've turned permanent, but I turned it down for one reason: ethics. The RDH who quit last week left to another state and I am filling someone's experienced shoes. They are giving me 15 minutes to do a FM scaling and polishing. Regardless of their periodontal and gingival status, this is the treatment for everyone. I do perio charting for myself but the dentist doesn't care whether I don't go over medical exam or perio chart, EOIO, anything but scale. I spoke to the office about being new and should at least be given 30 minutes, but they are scheduling 4 pts an hour! Then they get mad at me on Tuesday for keeping the office late after hours. I know the program taught us how to deal with this dilemma, but I am concerned that if I report, I will also get in trouble because I've been working here for a week and can't afford to lose this job. Need to pay off loans, rent, bills! I'm afraid that my notes are evidence that I didn't give quality care and I am also responsible to have my license revoked. I am quitting today but I still want to report the office for negligence. The dentists don't care that I leave calculus when they do the exam after my "cleaning". Will I get my license revoked if I reported the office myself? Thank you!!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

RDHCJ in Boston, Massachusetts

34 months ago

Honestly I would continue to look for work if I were you! I have done 30 minutes per patient which was unheard of. That is way too quick and I would NEVER accept a job that is 15 mins per patient unless it was for kids under age 12 only! I would politely speak to the other hygienist there or to the dentist and explain you CAN do 15 mins per child under age 12 BUT you need 30 mins or more per adult patient. Especially NEW patients and because all other offices are typically 40 mins or more.
DO NOT report the office! That would be your worst mistake as a new grad. Technically they are not breaking any laws by doing 15 min prophys! Also you will create a bad name for yourself within the dental community! Many dentists know other dentists and you may never get another job if they realize that you were the one who complained about their office to the dental board! You might get black balled by all other local dentists thinking they don't want to hire you because you will report them for any small infraction...instead of talking to them about it! Don't report them. Either quit or push for more time with the dentist. Explain to him you want to be more thorough and will get burned out cleaning 4 people per hour. That is 3 to 4 times the normal daily patient load for every other office! Most offices see 1 to 2 patients per hour only!
Yes you can get into trouble if you report the office and the office is inspected and they are in violation of other things. Short hygiene appointments probably are NOT a reportable offense. I bet you anything though that your office is not fully compliant on other issues though. So you risk 1) losing your job 2) getting your licenses suspended by working in an office that may have violations 3) never getting hired as a hygienist again.

Keep looking for other work and politely bring this issue up with the office manager and the dentist. 15 mins is unheard of! 40+ mins is common and 30 mins is uncommon but possible.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

RDHCJ in Boston, Massachusetts

34 months ago

Oh I just read your last line about quitting. Do NOT report them because you will get yourself black balled from all other dental offices! Short appointments probably are NOT a violation.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

cabrzama in Salt Lake City, Utah

34 months ago

Wow!!! 15 minutes is un-real. Don't blame you for leaving. I agree though, you have to be careful about burning bridges (especially if the practice of 15 minute cleanings is legal). I'm a big believer that when the market (customers) aren't happy they will take their business elsewhere and thus ultimately hurting the practice in the long run.

It's possible they have found a niche of customers that like the "quickie lube" approach as a trade off for lower price and less quality. There are always bargain shoppers out there that will simply buy junk without any regard to quality and end up paying more in the end. And if this practice has coupled that with a staff that prefers that business model too then it's going to continue on that way, but glad you held your ground and are looking for a better situation.

Doug Perry
www.facebook.com/LandingAGreatDentalHygieneJob
gethiredRDH.wordpress.com

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.