Dental Hygienist INFORMATION, please help!?

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Question by ****: Dental Hygienist INFORMATION, please help!?
I need some information about becoming a dental hygienist. I am mainly interested in these questions:

I have a B.S. in psychology, do I need a degree in a science related field in order to GET a job as a dental hygienist?

Is passing the state exam enough to get hired as a DH?

What exactly are dentist’s looking for when they hire a DH?

What do I need to do to get a job after I finish DH schooling?

Is it hard to be accepted in the DH program?

How hard is the schooling, state tests, etc?

Should I have dental experience (assisting, receptionist) in a dental office?

I am mainly concerned about what credential I will need in order to be considered for a job as a DH. I don’t want to finish school and be out of a job. I’ve already been through this after graduating from college :)

Any inforation will be helpful, thanks!

Best answer:

Answer by Chensona, RDA
To make is easier, I have copied ad pasted your questions and will answer them individually:

I have a B.S. in psychology, do I need a degree in a science related field in order to GET a job as a dental hygienist? No – any BS will work, but you must have specific courses prior to enrolling in a hygiene program. Check with the school you want to attend for the required pre-reqs.

Is passing the state exam enough to get hired as a DH? Almost… you also must have a likable personality, be professional in attire, attitude, presentation, care about patients, and be willing to be a team player in a dental office.

What exactly are dentist’s looking for when they hire a DH? A professional who really cares about BOTH the patients and the business, team player (helps others), never says “that’s not my job”, works quickly with excellent results, detailed in the dental procedures, clean, neat, personable with patients, and can stay on schedule.

What do I need to do to get a job after I finish DH schooling? Begin interviewing. Most newspapers have listings in the employment section. Also, dentaljobs.com dentalwaorkers.com and other on-line employment sections help connect you with potential employers.

Is it hard to be accepted in the DH program? Hard – not exactly, but it is competitive. They usually enroll based upon a point system. GPA earns points, volunteering in a dental office, previous work as a dental assistant, reference letter from a dentist or hygienist saying you would be good at it, and other items. Since enrollment is limited, they choose the ones they feel will be best fitted for the profession.

How hard is the schooling, state tests, etc? Hard. If you study study study, then you should do fine.

Should I have dental experience (assisting, receptionist) in a dental office? It helps – in applying for school, learning how the office functions as a team, and with terminology. The more exposure you have, the better off you will be.

Good Luck!

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