A registered dental hygienist has more than a few reasons to love his or her job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as oral health and overall health are becoming more intertwined through recent research, the need for this profession is greater than ever. From flexible hours to knowing that you make a difference, a dental hygienist benefits in numerous ways from his or her work. If you're considering this career path, you may be surprised at all this field has to offer.
Sense of Security
Not only are opportunities for registered dental hygienists abundant now, but there are no signs of this career field slowing down anytime soon. Since dental offices are everywhere, it's the kind of job that is available to you in any location. Beyond work in dental clinics, there are also ample opportunities to work outside of direct patient care in the form of research teams and education. Wherever you choose to work in this profession, it's a safe bet that the hours will be flexible. Many dental clinics offer evening and weekend hours, allowing you to work a schedule that best fits you.
Feeling Good About What You Do
Those looking for a job that they can feel good about will find work as a dental hygienist gratifying. Dental hygienists not only clean people's teeth to help prevent cavities and decay, but they also promote overall dental health by teaching their patients the proper way to take care of their teeth.
It Never Gets Old
Given the wide variety of people you will meet and care for as a dental hygienist, and the varying degrees of care for each of them, no two days at work will ever be the same. Cleaning teeth and counseling aren't all of a dental hygienists' responsibilities. Applying sealants, taking X-rays, and tracking treatment plans for patients all fall into the scope of a normal day on the job. Depending on the state in which you live, expanded duties can also include temporary fillings and periodontal dressings.
Pursuing the Dream
If this sounds like the kind of fulfilling work that you could see yourself doing, this is the best time to get started. Depending on where you live, many dental hygiene programs are competitive, and enrollment takes time. The American Dental Association can help you get started with a list of schools, so you can find one in your local area.