Danielle Turner completed her prerequisite coursework for dental hygiene school at Nicolet Area Technical College in Rhinelander, WI while she waited to be admitted to a dental hygienist program at Northcentral Technical College in Wausau, WI. Although students commonly have to wait 2 or 3 years before they gain admission to dental hygienist schools, Danielle was pleasantly surprised to receive an offer of admission after just 1 year on the waiting list.
Danielle began to apply for jobs as a dental hygienist while she waited for her license to practice. Her first job as a Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) was at Dental Health Associates in Madison, WI. After 7 months on the job in Madison, the opportunity arose for Danielle to return to Rhinelander and work for a new employer.
Danielle says that dental hygienist school is not easy. Danielle’s dental hygiene program began with 24 students, but only 13 of them actually graduated at the end. She says that to be successful in school, you should enjoy science, be committed to your studies, develop strong time-management skills and be a people person.
Danielle emphasizes how important it is for dental hygienist students to find their classes interesting. If you are not fascinated by the subject matter, she says, you will find it difficult to manage the coursework and clinical requirements. Medical hygienist students should be prepared for a challenge, and Danielle describes her program’s curriculum as intense. Classes like microbiology, pharmacology and oral pathology are difficult, and students who do not find these subjects interesting often lose motivation and perform poorly.
However, Danielle says that the most important thing that you can is to keep a positive attitude. This will help get you through school and navigate a tough job market. And a positive attitude is essential once you find a job as a dental hygienist and begin to work with patients. You will interact with your patients more effectively and become an integral member of your office’s team. A career as a dental hygienist is challenging, but after years in the field Danielle still finds her job fascinating and enjoyable.