Dental hygienists are in high demand and there are many reasons for it. COVID-19 has made permanent changes in our world, and in the field of dentistry. Dental hygienists are leaving clinic for positions in sales, education or research. Although in most cases, these positions do not compare to the clinical dental hygienists salary, hygienists are ripping off the masks and tackling other positions outside of clinic.
Thus, opportunities are bountiful for those who are considering a career in clinical dental hygiene.
I began my career in clinical dental hygiene in 1995. Right out of college I landed a job making $18.00 per hour. Proud that I could support myself and my family, I photocopied my first check and still have it.
Additionally, the hours are great. Instead of working 12 hour shifts like my nursing friends, I worked 6-8 hour shifts 3 1/2 days a week. The beauty of dental hygiene is that you can work as much or as little as you want and still bring home the bacon.
In doing a little research on the amount of pay a dental hygienist makes in today’s world I went to Zip Recruiter. I was given an excellent state by state account of dental hygienists’ salary. I think you will agree, dental hygiene could be a lucrative career.
Of course, it’s not just about the salary of the dental hygienist that should be considered. Those of you considering a career in dental hygiene, beware. It’s far from easy and can be quite tedious and mundane at times. Most importantly, to sustain a future in dental hygiene, pay constant attention to ergonomics, exercise and be kind to yourself.
A full day of dental hygiene, especially in the new PPE, is exhausting! Best part about that is you will sleep very well. Just make sure you stay organized:
- On your day off, stock up on groceries. Pre-cook meals and plan your meal for the week.
- Do your laundry and lay out your clothes that you will wear everyday. This saves a ton of time in the morning.
- Make sure your gas tank is full.
- Always have healthy snacks on hand like almonds, pistachios (a perfect protein), seeds, string cheese, a banana.
- Carry a day’s worth of water with you to work and drink liberally.
- Don’t forget to take bathroom breaks. Many dental hygienists’ hold it to save time. I wouldn’t suggest that. Take 5 for yourself.
Being accepted into a dental hygiene program is just the beginning. It will be challenging and is designed to weed out the weak, but I can assure you, the rewards are worth it. Some of the tips I can offer during school:
- Make sure you get lots of rest.
- Organize your time. Most of it will be centered around your studies, so be prepared. It’s only for a short period of time in the big picture.
- Tell friends and family that you will not be available and get ready to study and focus.
- School is stressful. Expect to feel alone, and even miserable. Reach out to your fellow classmates. Buddy up with someone who knows exactly what you are going through, because they are going through the same thing.
My dad always told me that I should be able to take care of myself, pay my own bills, make my own way on my terms. A career in dental hygiene has given me that and so much more.
In conclusion, to be a dental hygienist, you have to be one tough mudder! Best wishes to you on your journey.