Job Title: Dental Hygienist
Type of Company: A dental practice.
Education: AS, Dental Hygiene, Middlesex Community College
Previous Experience: I started working as an assistant in a dental office my junior year in high school.
Job Tasks: I clean people's teeth.
A typical day in a dentist's office includes providing basic dental services and requires a knowledge of x-rays and basic human anatomy.
Often times one of the most rewarding aspects of my job comes from effectively communicating with people one on one and building relationships based on caring and mutual trust. In many instances patients come to the dentist's office and they are anxious or fearful. Careful listening and communication often help people relax and understand the importance of dental care and how it can affect their entire body.
In order to maintain state licensing a dental hygienist is required to complete continuing education classes on a biennial basis. I find this to be rewarding because it helps to keep me updated on the newest advances and exciting topics regarding healthcare and dentistry. This is also a wonderful way to advance your career by staying involved in other aspects of the dental office. New information can help you to make decisions regarding equipment and other office policies that will benefit your working environment on a daily basis.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of a career as a dental hygienist is knowing that you are providing an important service to help others. You develop relationships with patients and other co-workers that become invaluable. Every day is different because you meet new people on a daily basis. As with many careers in the healthcare profession there is incredible flexibility and many opportunities to work in varied settings.
The worst part of my job is encountering people who are just not nice.
Job Tips: If at all possible, try to get a bachelor's degree in Dental Hygiene as soon as you can. It will open more doors outside of the private practice sector.
If you are not sure this is what you really want then spend a few days job-shadowing someone in a dental office.
As with any career in healthcare (dentistry,nursing, x-ray tech)...being outgoing and having a bit of a thick skin helps because sometimes the public can be tough to deal with. You want to be sure you don't take someone's behavior personally.
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