Career Paths Rochell D Rodriguez Coastal Bend College A registered dental hygienist not only cleans, examines, and provide preventive care but they also educate. The career also allows for other career paths. This includes, private practice as a clinician being the most popular work place for the dental hygienist, a corporate office, public health, researcher, educator, administrator, and or entrepreneur. Each career option varies in education requirements. The options for education includes an associates that’s the most common, bachelors, and a masters.
According to bls. ov, “Employment of dental hygienists is projected to grow 19 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Ongoing research linking oral health to general health will continue to spur demand for preventive dental services, which are provided by dental hygienists”( bls,2015). Therefore, the demand for dental hygienists is expected to grow in many careers and that’s great news for anyone that is looking for a job. In order for one to become a dental hygienist, education must be taken from a technical school, university, and or community colleges.
Associates being the most common, followed by the bachelor, and then masters. Usually if one is interested in research or teaching in clinical practice or school health programs one must attain a bachelors or a masters in dental hygiene. Depending on the classes or the length of the programs vary by states. The schools also have to set standards and competencies to meet or exceed in their educational programs. The educations programs also need to be accredited in order to offer a dental hygiene degree.
According to Ethics and Law in dental hygiene book, “The commission on Dental Accreditation is the specialized accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education to accredit programs that provide basic preparation for licensure in dentistry, dental hygiene, and all related dental disciplines”(Beemsterboer, 2002). The three different degree options normally consist of laboratory, classroom instruction, and clinical course work. According to bls. gov, ” Programs typically take 3 years to complete, and offer laboratory, clinical, and classroom instruction.
Areas of study include anatomy, physiology, nutrition, radiography, pathology, medical ethics, head and neck anatomy, patient management, and periodontics, which is the study of gum disease. High school students interested in becoming dental hygienists should take courses in biology, chemistry, and math. Most dental hygiene programs also require applicants to have completed at least 1 year of college. Specific entrance requirements vary by school”(bls, 2015). Not only are additional courses are to be taken before acceptance of the program but CPR is also required.
CPR usually expires every two years and can easily be taken at a local health department or school. Usually during the end of the program written and clinical examinations are required on top of course work depending on the state. Therefore, education is really important when it comes to the dental field. And with education comes grades which makes the field competitive for acceptance to the programs. Once degree and license is obtained, continuing education is to be required to hold license. Continuing education hours depends on career chosen along with state requirements.
Due to clinician being the most common, they don’t have to work in just private practice. Other options to work as a clinician can be in community clinics, hospitals, schools, prison facilities, nursing homes, and university dental clinics. According to adha. org, ” Dental hygienists in a clinical role assess, diagnose, plan, implement, evaluate and document treatment for prevention, intervention and control of oral diseases, while practicing in collaboration with other health professionals”(adha,2017). Education requirement is usually an associate’s degree.
According to adha. rg, the corporate career path is described as, “Corporate dental hygienists are employed by companies that support the oral health industry through the sale of products and services. Leaders throughout the dental industry often employ dental hygienists due to their clinical experience and understanding of dental practice. Examples of corporate positions include: Sales representatives, product researchers, corporate educators, and corporate admini strators”(adha,2017). Next is public health as another optional career path. According to adha. org, ” Community Health programs are typically funded by government or nonprofit organizations.
These positions often offer an opportunity to provide care to those who otherwise would not have access to dental care. Examples of public health opportunities include a variety of roles and settings: Clinicians, Administrators, Researchers, State Public Health Officer, Community Clinic Administrator, Indian Health Service, Head Start programs, Local health departments, National Health Service Corps, School sealant programs, and Rural or inner city community clinics”(adha,2017). Another common career option is education. According to adha. org,” Dental Hygiene educators are in great demand.
Colleges and universities throughout the U. S. require dental hygiene instructors who use educational theory and methodology to educate competent oral health care professionals. Corporations also employ educators who provide continuing education to licensed dental hygienists. Examples of education positions may be full time or part time and include: Clinical instructors, Classroom instructors, Program directors, and Corporate educators”(adha,2017). Education degree usually needs a bachelors or a masters degree. The demand for jobs is growing and the pay is good. The options are convenient for one to fit in their schedules.
According to bls. gov, ” The 2015 median pay is roughly between 72,330 per year and 34. 77 per hour. The typical entry-level education is an associate’s degree and number of job outlook to 2014-24 is at 19% (much faster than average)”(bls, 2015). According to information researched, Dental hygiene is a good career itself and is awarding due to the benefit of helping others in their oral health whether or not it is a clinician. The career offers many other options that can fit schedules. The field is growing and consistent, and the pay is well enough to support yourself or a family.