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Hours changing constantly, burnt out. Help?!

I’ve been working since August and my schedule has been mentally changed 4 times without following through. It has just been changed temporary due to significant staff turnover (over 6 hygienists gone in 1 year and lots of DAs). I’m stressed out to the point of crying daily after work and upset stomach daily. I cannot live my life like this. First I was given a set schedule that worked good for me and my family then told a month later I would be Monday-Thursday, then a few months later I was told I would work everyday with short shifts(including saturdays), then presented with longer shifts daily, and finally I was given a temp schedule of working m, t,t,f and every other Saturday weird shifts. I need something permanent. Also I now have two patients per hour with someone helping me with X-rays and polish– that’s it, they do not help with exams/scheduling/completing patient/starting notes. I feel like I’m being treated as if I’m a machine and not a human. If I got my DDS I would be able to do it all. Also I treatment plan/present and go over fiances. I have wrote a 2 page paper on my job description and what needs to change for me to stay here to present to the OM. I’m very overwhelmed. I loved hygiene when I first started and now I’m unhappy. What do I do?
Also I have applied for other jobs in my area. I have had to offers that were too far of a drive realistically. I have since applied for more, however I am literally afraid of a new office being worse than my current situation. Is this how hygiene is, do you work what they tell you to and be happy doing so?

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1 Answer

My first permanent job out of hygiene school sounds much like this… including the 30 minute appointments. It wore me down physically and mentally. I even resented my career choice. I cried more working there than I ever did in hygiene school, if you can believe that! So I know how horrible this is for you. Don’t be afraid of a new office being worse than your current situation. You must move on as soon as you can! Change is always scary, but when you are feeling as bad as you are, including being physically sick, you must change your situation! As hygienists, if we allow ourselves to get treated this way, nothing in our field will ever change. While the note to the OM is a good idea, I have a feeling it won’t change anything. The turnover rate proves that unfortunately. It may give you piece of mind though, knowing you’ve given them the reason why they are not the best employer and their turnover is so high. Sometimes piece of mind is worth it! Even with many sit-downs with the doctor (and office manager) I worked for, the doctor would not budge in his ways. I made looking for another job, like having a second job. Everyday I applied for any jobs that came up. I’m not going to lie, it took a while, but one finally did come. Like you, I was terrified a new office would be bad too. But if it was bad, I already had my resume updated so to keep on looking wasn’t that horrible of a deal as long as I was out of that initial office. Because nothing could have been as bad as that office! So again, I suggest the same thing to you; you need to make a change. You ARE being treated unfairly and without respect. Not all offices are like this, a better workplace is out there! I truly feel for you and it hurts my heart you are going through this. Keep your chin up and remember why you love hygiene. I wish the best of luck to you!

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