Deflating Moment for a Soon to be New Grad - page 2

I was at the dentist yesterday getting my teeth cleaned. My dentist was asking me about school and stuff, telling me that his wife was also an RN, and had been such since the 70's. Anyway, he asked... Read More

  1. by   SusanJean
    Maybe they get paid more because there are fewer?

    Isn't a 4 year degree required now for a DH - while the 2 yr and/or professional program are grandfathered in? (At least in most states.)

    Plus, they do generate noticable income - insurance can be billed for the actual service.

    Just some ideas here.

    Regardless, triple the pay and I would not do the work. Very boring. YAWN.
  2. by   Tweety
    Perhaps it is supply and demand. When I was in nursing school, nurses had the edge in salary in my hometown. I wonder if it's changed since then.
  3. by   Lanceman
    Seems like everyone is in agreement that they couldn't work in people's mouths all day. That's probably the answer as to why they get paid more right there. I certainly couldn't do it, dental-related work is about the only thing that creeps me out. As far as nurses making too little, they only make so little because they allow themselves to be paid that little. They are not indentured servants (in most cases) and could always travel or move to a more lucrative area if more money is desired. The policeman in my small town start out at $23,000 a year. Most get some experience and move to the bigger cities nearby where they double their income, but with that they more than double the risks they take and crap they deal with. Supply and demand.
  4. by   gerry79
    If the dentist is charging $100.00 for the visit (usually an hour long), they can pay the DH $35.00 and still make a tidy profit of $65.00 per patient seen by the DH.
  5. by   begalli
    Quote from Headhurt
    I was puzzled until he told me that fresh-out of school dental hygenists start out at $35 on up.
    I want to say GOOD FOR THEM! In another female dominated profession, at least they get recognition for being a professional. Dental hygiene effects all areas of a person's health. What they do should not be minimized. But comparatively as professions go, hygenist's pay to RN's pay is quite disturbing.
    I know that nurses don't do the work for the money, ...
    Not true. I don't work for free and I expect to be compensated well.
  6. by   Gator,SN
    I think that DH should make good money. I'm not sure it should be so much more than nursing BUT, teeth just gross me out. I could never work in a job where I had to scrape people's teeth and the smell....(where's that puking smiley?) Just doing oral care on a vented pt that has pneumonia is enough.
    Is the high wages because their is a shortage or because they work in small offices that afford to pay more because there are less employees?
  7. by   SmilingBluEyes
    There is not enough pay for me to deal directly and personally with nasty mouths and the horrible, chronic backaches from being in the positions you have to be to be a hygienist. NOT ENOUGH MONEY IN THE WORLD! My hat is off to them. Better them than me.
  8. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from wannaBEanRN

    But, I'd rather clean bottoms than look in the NASTAY mouths of some people. Bad breath just heebs me out. Give me spurting blood and other bodily functions any day over that! :chuckle
    You and me both.........I wouldn't do a hygienist's job for ANY amount of money. BLECH.
  9. by   lady_jezebel
    OK, someone can say "good for them" & "teeth are nasty" all they want, but the pay discrepency is OUTRAGEOUS. Nurses are faced with liability, multi-tasking, mounds of legal paperwork, and infectious diseases. I've had HIV patients with large draining wounds, bloody/infectious diarrhea, serum leaking out of bodily pores, & projectile vomit -- of course I don't mind these pt's & feel compassion for them, but how is this less dramatic than a dirty mouth? Besides, we do mouth care -- people with missing/rotting teeth, rank breath, mouths that haven't been brushed in months, and serious cases of thrush! I've had to clean countless sets of dentures.

    The nastiness factor doesn't account for their pay. The fewer numbers are due to job protection -- schools allow only a certain # of people into the programs, thereby ensuring higher salaries. For years and years hospitals have been making the argument that since nurses are the largest % of their workforce, they can't afford to pay above a certain amount -- ie. we are paid by FAR less than we're worth b/c they can!!

    I think a main issue, one very controversial on this bb, is that we are the only major healthcare profession that does NOT require at least a BS as an educational standard. We can't command higher salaries b/c of this, and we're often not given the respect we deserve. I think anyone with an ADN or diploma should be "grandfathered" into the BS level so that we're all on equal footing educationally -- and for now on a BS must be required for future employment. Many ADN programs are just as rigorous -- therefore, they should be upgraded and recognized as bachelor's level, rather than as an associate's degree; they could be linked to local universities somehow. Anyway, this is a main argument for others to justify our low wages -- the educational standard is low.
  10. by   LilRedRN1973
    and require much less schooling to do it.
    In our state, the dental hygiene program is 2 years long...same as my ASSN program I just graduated from. It's MUCH harder to get into than the nursing school (my sister-in-law's father sits on the board). Yes, the pay difference is disturbing. Here, they make around $400 for an 8 hour day, plus an hour lunch that the dentist usually treats them to.

    My brother-in-law and his wife are both now dentists (graduated this past weekend from Marquette) and will be heading off to Nebraska for perio school. They told me if I got into DH school, I could have a job with them right out of school....appealing, yes...but I have NO interest in peering into someone's mouth all day long. And this coming from a girl who's had numerous oral surgeries, and has spent around $12,000 on dental work. I don't even like looking in my OWN mouth. I would rather clean a HUGE code brown from a patient and their bed then begin to clean some of the mouths I've seen running around our hospital....ewwww.

    I know the DH at my dentist's office love their jobs. In fact, one is retiring after 17 years and is really depressed about leaving (she's having to leave due a troublesome 12 year old). They tell me about the great hours, great working conditions, and the terrific pay. That's wonderful for them....but I know I couldn't be happy doing something like that. I need more variety than just teeth.

  11. by   DianeMyra
    The pay intrigued me (I'm a pre-nursing student), so I looked for jobs online in my area. There were very few compared to nursing. The idea of having guaranteed work when I graduate from nursing school is really appealing to me. Also, I'm not sure of how far a DH can climb up in salary (and I'm too lazy to research it), whereas I know that we have the ability to continue schooling for a long 'ol time to increase our income. - Diane
  12. by   apaisRN
    I don't find it much grosser than what we do, and as someone says, we do mouth care too. In fact my patients are often vented, confused and quite uncooperative with mouth care. But boring and repetitive, yeah. And none of the reward I get from keeping critically ill people alive.

    Not saying nurses should be paid less for reasons like there's more educational opportunities, or more variety. We're disgustingly underpaid for what we do.
  13. by   kabarnes
    I just got back from the dentist today. As I was having my teeth cleaned I kept wondering why someone would want to do this job. I mean think of all the nasty mouths out there. It got me interested in how much they make, so I did a search on and I was appalled. I cannot believe that they make that much more than we as nurses do. I feel sick to my stomach because of it. I always thought we deserved more, but finding out what someone makes to scrap teeth all day long, when we put up with being understaffed, juggling too many sick patients, dealing with doctors who are rude and put us down and not to mention all kinds of bodily secretions in addition to nasty mouths. I am not trying to say that what they do doesn;t deserve that amount of money. I just think it is a huge injustice that we don't make closer to that amount. I am sorry to be going on a rant like this. No, I didn't get into nursing for the money, but it just doesn't seem right. Even advanced degree nurses don't make that much. quote a national average of like 69K. Unbelivable. All this being said, I don;t think I would want to be a hygienist, but it is the principle of it all.