Jump to content

Dental Hygienists paid more than Nurses?

Posted

Specializes in BSc, ASN- RN, MBA. Has 8 years experience.

Can someone explain to me why Dental Hygienists get paid more than Nurses. Someone suggested that they are dealing with the dirtiest part of the human body all day - but excuse me - As a nurse I would be on my feet running from patient to patient (not sitting and doing a cleaning), I am exposed to every potential infectious disease, my liability is greater, I give meds and observe for side effects of those meds. I understand that their boards are much more difficult (8 hours I think), but what am I missing?

Lisa

who is wondering if I should have gone to DH school instead of nursing school

Jolie, BSN

Specializes in Maternal - Child Health. Has 34 years experience.

1. They are respected by dentists who recognize them as vital to the profession.

2. They are largely employed by private practices that aren't nearly as limited as medical practices by insurance reimbursement rates, Medicare, Medicaid, HMOs, JCAHO, etc.

Locally they also work part-time . .. so they may make more an hour . . but not more per year.

steph

Lisa, you went to Nursing school because you are caring and compasionate and want to make a difference in clients lives, not because of the money.

Futhermore the job market for Hygenists is very slum, most work in two offices part time to fullfill a fulltime job. Yeah they get paid more, but so does other professions...dont look too deep into money..look at it as "will I be happy in this career".

queenjean

Has 9 years experience.

Dentists are among the highest paid of medical doctors. It stands to reason that their assistants and office help would be paid more, sharing in the wealth (hopefully!).

Platypus

Specializes in BSc, ASN- RN, MBA. Has 8 years experience.

Wow - really fast replies! I had no idea that dentists were paid so well. I guess that explains the higher pay. Thanks for the input.

suzanne in hawaii

Specializes in Operating Room, Med-Surg, Home Care.

One of the biggest reasons why hygienists make a higher hourly rate is that the NUMBERS of hygienists is carefully controlled. They keep a certain number graduating, and so the market is never flooded which would bring down the salary. In addition, some also get a percentage of the production ($) they generate. This is what I have been told by hygienists in California and Hawaii when we have discussed our professions.

NurseLoveJoy88, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC. Has 6 years experience.

Why are you so concerned about how much more they make ?

Nursing is a excellent career choice, and as long as you are happy being a nurse thats all that matters.

Nursing is Priceless :)

I think you should check into the benefits. Working for a large business (hospital) may have more benefits available. I am guessing you are young (or at least younger than me!), but don't forget the value of a retirement plan and health benefits.

Another thing to consider is that Hygenists don't have as much flexibility in career choices as nurse..

^^Great point. That is very important.

norcalRNstudent

Specializes in ER. Has 1 years experience.

You'd have to pay me a MILLION dollars a year to go digging around in someone's mouth before it's been cleaned. Bad teeth gross me out!:barf01:

to each his/her own.

iamablonde, BSN, RN

Specializes in Case management, UM, AL, psych, CD. Has 20 years experience.

Another thing to consider, as I considered Dental Hygiene as a profession at one time, and I spoke to a lady who had worked in the Dental Hyg. field for years....... she made a good point... Yes she made great money per hour, and worked fewer days per week......

But Nursing is a profession where your job variety is ENDLESS! There are so many different types of nursing........ so as you grow, and change and age, you can change your job to fit your needs..... (me for instance, I just took a job where I can work from home!!! WOO WOO!!! and eventually will be able to travel, with my laptop, and work from any internet connection......) As a hygienist, her job was limited to just that.........dental Hygiene. Not alot of variety, and many of them have problems with their arms and back from standing with arms in strange positions for YEARS......

Just something to consider.... Talk to some of them! :) Maybe a GREAT choice for you. Maybe not. :)

Dental Hygienists shouldnt be confused with a Dental Assistant. Dental Hygienists are licensed professionals just like RNs and they usually require a degree (AS). In some states they perform many of the same functions as the Dentis like fillings, administer medications etc. Most of the time, they also have their own patient load. In many functions its almost like a PA or ARNP working with a physician. As mentioned above they also work very part time which may explain the higher pay. I hate to minimize what they do, because they worked just as hard to get where they are as many Nurses out there.

EarthChild1130

Specializes in Psychiatric. Has 9 years experience.

My sister is a dental hygienist and she works her BUTT off for her money, and she works 2 part-time jobs...she sees 20+ patients a DAY in each office and is constantly running...she has to clean the room between patients, clean the equipment, set everything up and tear it down, and do a whole lot of stuff.

To me she deserves every bit of that money...plus she is exposed to just as many bugs because she is working in close proximity to someone's open mouth.

I became a nurse because I like psych patients...she became a dental hygienist because she likes teeth...the money is nice but we like what we do.:D

tfleuter, BSN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 9 years experience.

in my area, at least according to information I have found, they don't make more hourly than RN's, at least, as far as new graduates go. And, supposively, we have one of the best dental hygene programs in the country.

Valerie Salva, BSN, RN

Has 19 years experience.

My sister is a dental hygienist and she works her BUTT off for her money, and she works 2 part-time jobs...she sees 20+ patients a DAY in each office and is constantly running...she has to clean the room between patients, clean the equipment, set everything up and tear it down, and do a whole lot of stuff.

To me she deserves every bit of that money...plus she is exposed to just as many bugs because she is working in close proximity to someone's open mouth.

I became a nurse because I like psych patients...she became a dental hygienist because she likes teeth...the money is nice but we like what we do.:D

As an RN, I also have to set-up, tear down and clean rooms.

I don't think RDHs are exposed to C-Diff, VRE, urine, BM, unwashed genitals, nasty feet, and not nearly as much blood as nurses are.

Plus, I do procedures on 30+ pts a day. I don't get them one at a time like an RDH does, either.

I have wondered, though, why it is that you very rarely see an older RDH. They are almost always really young.

rngolfer53

Has 2 years experience.

You'd have to pay me a MILLION dollars a year to go digging around in someone's mouth before it's been cleaned. Bad teeth gross me out!:barf01:

to each his/her own.

The ones with bad teeth probably avoid the dentist. :wink2: So you should be safe.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.