It is interesting to think about how we got to the present situation, both for ourselves and as whole humanity. How could someone predict that one animal evolving to live on land would result in an industrial revolution? It is insane that our lives have changed so dramatically in just a period of 100 years. 100 years on a universal scale is less than a fraction of a second to our perception of time.
Now, everyone must do something to contribute to society in order to survive in one way or the other. Luckily, there are a lot of opportunities out there, especially the ones no one talks about. A dental hygienist is one such profession that you may find pretty interesting. Not many talk about it, yet it is so integral for us to have proper dental hygienists. Here are 6 things you need to consider before you become a dental hygienist.
1. The right school
Becoming a dental hygienist is not the same as any other job, you need the right school. You can’t just take any online courses or go to any school to become one. There are a lot of schools out there that offer the best education for this prosperous career. Every state has different schools, especially Florida because it is a pretty big state, and because of the growing demand for this job. This is why it is important to read about these schools and find the one that matches your interest and schedule the best.
You need to get a degree from a properly accredited college by passing all the courses. The program usually lasts around 2 years and afterward, you will need to get a license. The courses will help you learn useful subjects you need to pass three important exams every dental hygienist needs to take. The best thing is that you can get a job pretty quickly after this quick ordeal. Usually, other degrees take way too long before you get into action and some money.
2. Career path
Once you start practicing, that is not the end of your path as a dental hygienist. You can continue working as one until you retire, but you also have other options. By getting a master’s degree, you get to do much more than just clean teeth. With this, you get paid more and you get the option to conduct research or work in the education sector. This is not an easy task though, you will need to put in the hours of studying to get a master’s degree.
As with any license, once you get it, it does not last forever. You will need to maintain the license according to the regulations in the state where you practice. Some states will require you to complete 24 hours of classroom education every two years, but this varies. These extra hours are not meant to just keep you busy, these hours have a purpose. As with any field, you need to stay sharp and also look out for new trends in the area.
How much money you will make depends on a lot of factors, but there is still an average estimate. As a dental hygienist, your salary will depend on your education level and the place you work. If you are working under someone else, you can expect a safe salary with little to no surprises. The average annual salary for a dental hygienist is around $73 000.
If you have a higher education or you open up your own office, you can earn more. However, opening up your own ordination can be risky and it may not be smooth sailing along the way. Research is also a safe option, but if you want to innovate, you can start patenting. That way, you can earn more money while doing scientific research and helping other people.
4. What to expect
As a dental hygienist, expect to put your hands into the mouths of a lot of people. The reason why you get paid very well is that not many people are fond of this activity. Even though the risks are minimal with good caution, you can still get an infection from a patient.
You need to stay sharp all the time and be ready for some nasty situations. If you are ready for these risks and are not disgusted by the thought, you will be helping a lot of people. There is a great reward that comes from doing such a noble job that no amount of money can equate to.
5. Your goal
You need to consider your long-term plan when starting the path of a dental hygienist. Do you want to help people through innovation and theory or through practice? Do you need some money first before you can start a master’s degree? Do you want to do both and explore the unknown limits of this very important branch?
6. Work schedule
Compared to other medical workers, you will not be mean with endless surprises during the day or night. Most of your workday is predictable with of course some exceptions here and there, but without any midnight emergency calls. You can have a regular 9 to 5 job or have a more dynamic schedule if you decide to do research or start your own practice.
These 6 things are the hard truths that you must face if you want to go along this path. With every path in life come hard truths and new revelations that you never knew, including the path of a dental hygienist. Thus it is very important to read and educate yourself on the path that you wish to take in the future.
It is fun to just let the world carry you into the unknown, but you can not do that all the time. There will be a lot of times when the world will show you that you are not the master of your destiny. However, there are some times that you can control the future and your outcome, and you can do that if you are a dental hygienist. It is very important to balance the unknown future with a bit of certainty in order to truly succeed in this life.