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Raven Jones Jessica Carmargo English 111 1 November 2013 The Next Step to Your Future Junior year is usually the most stressful year for most high school students. Its the year when students are taking the most difficult classes theyll ever take in their high school career while they also begin to think about their college. Where are you going to go? What will you major in? Its a lot on a kids plate for them to decide what they are going to do with the rest of their life at such a young age. Some of you might have it all figured out, but some also have no idea in what direction to take. I was one of those who didnt have any route on what to study until I was introduced to the practice of dental hygiene. A dental hygienist is a licensed professional who help dentists provide treatment and care of the mouth, teeth and gums (Dental Hygienist 53). Hygienists can perform a series of tasks such as doing office work to educating patients on good oral care; however, it can all depend on where you are employed at and what state youre in. Being employed in a small dental office may require the hygienist to perform other tasks such as acting as an office assistant, but not all hygienists work in an office, they can also work in clinics or a public health agency. Depending on what state you live in, a hygienist would be allowed to place and carve filling materials and temporary fillings while some wouldnt be able to do in states that did not permit it (Bureau of Labor Statistics). Becoming a hygienist can be very helpful and influential on people because it promotes people to practice good hygiene which is beneficial to not just the patient, but everyone. I know that doesnt sound like the most glamorous job in the world and youre more

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than likely to come across a couple of unforgiving mouths, but the benefits I later talk about will make it all worthwhile. If youre like me, you dont want to spend a whole lot of time in school. Becoming a dental hygienist only requires an associates degree which only takes two years to complete as a full time student; however, you can get into bachelor degree programs only after youve done your two years in college (Dental Hygienist 54). In order to be accepted into a school that has this profession, many schools require that students take an amplitude test given by the American Dental Hygienists Association. If you have just an associates degree you can work in a private dental office, but if you have your bachelors degree you have more job opportunities such as qualifying as a research teacher or work in school health programs (Dental Hygienist 54). Becoming a hygienist can also bring you great earnings and benefits. Your salary can depend on the place where youre employed, your education level, experience, and also your location. For most hygienists are salaried employees; however, some are paid a commission for the work they perform or a combination of the two (Dental Hygienists 33). On the other hand, hygienists who are employed in research, education, or administration have a tendency to to earn higher salaries. But overall, the median income is generally $22 an hour. Not bad for only having a two year degree. Benefits that dental hygienists can enjoy are paid holidays and vacation. Not to mention most hygienists only work Monday through Thursday, everyone loves having the weekends off. In general, hygienist work between 35 and 40 hours a week and parttime employment is also available. I would say these benefits are hard to believe for only needing a two year degree! I believe that many people choose a degree somewhat based on a guarantee that they will find a job after they graduate from school. Dental hygiene has become one of the fastest growing

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occupations in the U.S. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that the employment will grow much faster than the average for this occupation through 2014 (Dental Hygienists 33). Although the demand for becoming a hygienist is high, the demand for oral care is also growing; therefore, dental hygienists will always be needed in the work force and you are almost guaranteed employment once you finish your degree. As the population continues to grow, the increased public awareness of oral hygiene grows, and dental insurance becomes available to most people grows will result to the increase of jobs for a hygienist. I would hate for any of you to choose some other career field and end up not being able to find a job after you put all your precious time and hard work into getting a degree. After hearing me explain dental hygienists to you all, I know you all are about to rush home right after school, hop on the internet, and research more about beginning a career in this field. Pursuing a profession as a hygienist can be a smart career move for many of you, considering that you arent forced to go to school for a long time like most degrees require you to do. Along with all the earnings and benefits a dental hygienist can receive through their degree is very well. I encourage every one of you to consider going into this career field, it could be life changing.

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Work Cited Bureau of Labor Statistics, of U.S. Department Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 201213 Edition, Dental Hygienists, 29 March 2012, Web, 30 October 2013 "Dental Hygienist." Career Information Center. 8th ed. New York: MacMillan Reference USA, 2002. 53-55. Print.

"Dental Hygienists." Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance. 14th ed. New York, NY: Ferguson, 2008. 30-32. Print.