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What the f* am I doing here?

I’ve been a hygienist for about 10 years now and I have been thinking to myself a lot lately, usually during a prophy, what am I doing here and how did I get here? I am extremely bored and need more stimulation in my life, but the pay/hours are great, so I feel kind of trapped. Plus, my kids & homelife prevent me from pursuing other avenues at this point.
Just a vent.
Sincerely, Riley RDH



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4 Answers

I took dental hygiene after I became an RN. I loved both and did both for 20 yrs. Then hospital nursing got crazy-taking care of 12-16 patients on a 12 hr shift-yikes-so I stopped nursing and continued w/ hygiene. Now I need more hygiene as my marital status changed and guess what -no jobs-so I am lucky to have 2 days of hygiene-but that doesn’t pay the bills. Long story short, I discovered legal nurse consulting and do that 3 plus days a week. Besides paying 3 x/s the amount I get doing hygiene, I get to be Nancy Drew sleuthing through medical records finding the answers-& yes, I have worked on dental mal-practice cases also. This is so much fun!!!!

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Well it seems im on the opposite side of the spectrum from you. I am a recent graduate in southern CA who is having difficulties finding a steady position or a Dr. who will hire me without any “experience”. I just want to be given a chance to start my career and shine but many of the positions are filled with great experienced RDHs such as yourself.

I guess the grass is always greener on the other side and we should just count our blessings 🙂

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I live in a state with restorative functions, anesthesia and expanded practice, this afford us a bit more to do as hygienists. Are you in a state that has these things? If not, maybe getting involved with legislation to allow them might be fun. How about volunteer work…that always perks me up. 🙂

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I bet a lot of people (not just in dental hygiene) feel the way you do! It’s the “life trap” we find ourselves in when we decide to have family.

I’m thankful for laser tx, nitrous oxide tx and facilitating the dentist’s diagnosis (using i/o camera) that adds variety to my schedule. Unfortunately that’s only for two days a week. The other two days are filled with those mind-numbing back to back prophies.

It helps to have a 5 or 10 year plan. Just see yourself down the road when the kids have grown. Maybe then you can scale back a day or two and pursue your hobby/passion.

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