Why I Want to Be a Dental Hygienist

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The career that I’m most interested in is a dental hygienist. From elementary to my senior year of high school I had crooked teeth. Going through that experience was embarrassing, which is why I would rather stay away from people and cover my mouth when I spoke, smiled, or laughed. I want to be able to help others not to be afraid or embarrassed by their teeth. According to Clifton Strengths assessment, my three strengths are a relater, learner, input, achiever, and responsibility. Relater would help when it comes to working with others in achieving the goal we have set up, learner would motivate me to continuously improve in my career, and lastly input would help me in my career by keeping information from each patient to find out what has been done in the past and what needs to be done. So why i want to be a dental hygienist?

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Dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for signs of oral disease, and provide dental care. They also educate the patients about how important oral health care is. The job outlook for a dental hygienist is likely to increase by 11% from 2018-2028 because the new generation growing want to keep their original teeth, which means more dental care. The annual salary is $74,820. To become a dental hygienist I would have to get my associates degree. If I would like, however, I am able to get a bachelor’s degree and even go further and get a master’s degree, which is very uncommon. A bachelor and master’s degree are required for research, teaching, or clinical practice in public or school health programs.

According to Career Coach, the annual salary for a dental hygienist in Houston, Texas is $72,080. The job outlook is likely to increase, currently there are 3,043 dental hygienists employed in the Woodlands, TX, but by 2028 it would be increasing to 3,928. Dental hygienists are responsible to record and review the patients’ medical history, clean teeth, and examine mouth for any gum disease or cavities and to examine lymph nodes under chin for soreness to see if the patient has oral cancer. 80% dental hygienists attain an associate’s degree while 20%-25% attain a bachelor’s degree.

The annual salary for a dental hygienist in Houston, TX is $72,080. The lifestyle that I want will be $80,610. By myself I’m short $8,530, but thankfully I have a spouse that makes $80,000-$90,000 annually working in the refineries. Together we will have enough funds to pay for our vehicles, the house, and buy accessories for ourselves, child, and pets. We will also be paying loans he had before we met. However, we still would have enough funds, so with the extra money we have, we will make sure we have money in savings and that we are financially stable for any obstacles to come.

The two places I was looking at in moving are Seattle, WA, and Denver, CO. The price difference for both places increase but put me in the same place as living in Houston. Again, the cost of living in Houston, TX is $80,610 with an annual salary of $72,080 while Seattle, WA cost of living is $132,148, but the annual salary for Seattle is $90,690. While Denver, CO cost of living is $93,799 and annual salary is $89,060. Both states however have a high employment rate and are only increasing, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. I would still be receiving my spouses help if we were to move to any of these states with him having the same job. For both states, the highest percentage difference is housing, but with both our income it shouldn’t be a problem living in these states. However, I chose to stay in Houston because of the family support we would be having when it comes to our child.

My first volunteer option is Houston Food Bank volunteering in Keegan Kitchen because that would help me communicate and create a bond with people who come in for help. It would also help me open up to working with new people. My second choice is San Jose Clinic volunteering as a dental hygienist or as dental front desk. Volunteering in San Jose Clinic would help me meet people with the similar goals as me and meet employees with enough experience that could help me reach my goals. Also, volunteering there would help me how to collect medical records, create a bond with patients, and, if allowed, help clean teeth and introduce patients to dental care. Both volunteering jobs would introduce me how to work fast pace and how to be responsible with time management and become more logical and reasonable to my choices.

My long-term goal is to attain my master’s degree for a dental hygienist so I can become a Public Health Specialist by the year May 2030. I’m giving myself a couple years because I was also planning on joining the reservist. First I will achieve my associates and start working as a dental hygienist right after. I will continue my education as I work and gain experience from my job and volunteer work. I will keep on furthering my education until I achieve my goal. One big obstacle for my long-term goal is deployment during my education, but I researched how classes’ overseas work and thankfully I will be able to continue my education, also the military has documents that will allow me to keep my job even if I am enlisted. After accomplishing my goal, my life would be completely different from now. I wouldn’t have to be worried about attending school for myself again, I would be financially stable, and I would have accomplished my dream. I personally would feel relieved from this and when I walk to get my master’s I’m 100% positive I would cry in receiving it because of how relived and excitement.  

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