One of the biggest disadvantages of being a dental hygienist is the lack of variety in the workday. A dental hygienist usually works in a dental office and sees the same type of patients every day and performs the same tasks every day. Over time, this can lead to boredom and a loss of focus on what needs to be done. Monotony can take its toll and is one of the major disadvantages of being a dental hygienist.
It can lead to exhaustion, as hygienists find that repetitive work becomes boring, unchallenging and uninteresting. Hygienists perform the same tasks in every clinic. I never intend to let my hygiene license expire when I become a nurse, as I have worked too hard to get it. I haven't been in the field of dental hygiene as many of you have, but I've been here long enough to know that these feelings are very common in the profession.
It's very difficult to find full time (and full time in the dental field is usually about 32 hours a week, more or less). I think the biggest mistake I made as a hygienist was not participating in my Dental Hygiene Association and not doing more CEUs. Hygienists treat some patients who have decayed teeth, bad breath and, in some cases, rotting pieces of food stuck between their teeth. The anxiety of finding a job, the thrill of getting one and the thrill of finally being able to practice dental hygiene as a doctor in a private office.
Most of what patients pay for dental cleanings and other hygienist jobs goes to the doctor who runs the dental office, and some dentists demand high production levels, which is correlated with maximum profitability. Maybe you could spend a day following a hygienist to get an idea of what the typical day-to-day routine might be like. This can be frustrating for dental hygienists, who must maintain a fast pace to treat all patients quickly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 221,000 hygienists work in dental offices and clinics in the United States, the labor market is good for new hygienists.
Hygienists also deal with saliva, which can get on clothes if a person coughs, sneezes, or is nauseous, and blood, which can transmit diseases. There are some public health opportunities as a hygienist, but right now, not many, at least where I live now. I agree with the other poster that I won't let my dental hygiene license expire either; it's a good insurance policy in case I need it. Or, there are dentists who take lots of vacations throughout the year, and a hygienist may be out of work for weeks or months, without pay, while the dentist is out of town.
I began to realize that the practice of mindfulness could be applied to the dental hygiene profession and to all professions, in fact.