Two years into the field and I had worked in 7 different offices! Whether you are new to hygiene or a seasoned hygienist, you deserve a place you love going into every day. Finding what is out there is not a bad thing. I highly recommend speaking and keeping in contact with dental staff in offices near you as well as temping. I learned a lot about the field in the first couple years and I feel that I know what I want from a dental office and I would have no problem leaving any office I did not feel 100% comfortable in.
Right after graduation I decided to temp for a bit. I was in various offices throughout the week that I had never been to before. This of course was a bit scary at first. I didn’t know much about working in the hygiene field aside from school settings. You could say this was like a blind date with a guy who will pay you but also gives a lot of anxiety!
I have to say, it was kind of fun though. I had a few friends that hated it to be honest, but for me the offices were quite happy to just have someone working that day. My best advice is to arrive early and ask a lot of questions. Find out where everything is and write notes if you have to.
The reason I decided to stop temping was because I was offered more permanent work. However if I ever wanted to pick up days or just do hygiene a couple times per week, I would definitely do it again. Beware that there are multiple temp agencies out there, you may want to sign up with a few if you are thinking about temping. There is a chance that you will only be offered scarce days if you are with an agency that is not contracted with many offices.
Getting offered One day per week
If you have read my post “How to make sure your resume is remembered“, you’ll know that I hand delivered my resume to places I was interested in working at. I didn’t care if they were hiring or not, I wanted them to have my information if ever they were hiring. Rewind to the last couple months of school, a well known prosthodontist came to speak to us.
I was so impressed by his achievements and the way he spoke about his staff; I brought my resume to his office right away. Within a week, I got a call back but was only offered one day a week because they were not in need of a hygienist. I took the job immediately because I knew I could learn a lot of this practice and doctor.
Although I did end up learning a lot and getting great experience, I was always so anxious to go in because working with this doctor was so intimidating. The dental exams with him were like taking a final every week. I was quizzed on things I didn’t know I needed to know. Maybe in the future I would work there again, but once I was offered a full week in one office, I made the move.
Working for a Large Company
While working in the one-day-a-week-office, I was working the other 4 days for a larger chain of dental offices. Oddly enough I felt a bit tricked by this place and their method of hiring me. They had a listing online for an office near my house and I applied right away. They made no mention of other affilate offices or me having to work in other offices throughout the week.
When I interviewed they told me the offices were owned by a single dentist and were not a huge corporation. They said they were finally able to expand and wanted me at their newest office, offering to let me choose all the hygiene gadgets. Little did I know this company had many different names and had hundreds of offices throughout the state.
All in all, I liked the staff and dentists that worked for the company. I had a great time working in the offices but felt like I never had what I needed to be successful. They were able to get me the instruments I wanted but I was only given 4 sets for a whole days work. We were often booked for procedures we did not have the tools to do which would leave the patients mad at us. Obviously I booked it out of there back to private practice as soon as I could.
Working for a Terrible Doctor
Once back in private practice, I felt great! I was in a town I liked and the office was gorgeous! I spent almost two years there and I miss the staff and patients dearly. I was offered great incentives which brought up my motivation to work more hours a hundred fold. The office always had pride on their transparency with both their collections and bills.
We started to hear more about the bills and how paying the staff was an issue. We slowly lost our incentives and other benefits such as matched savings accounts. Staff was being let go over text, telling them he could no longer pay them. The truth was he was making purchases that he could not keep up with. He had unpaid accounts with local reps and soon this cost him his reputation.
I began to look for a new job once again and thankfully found a private practice near my house with a wonderful doctor!
Having to Find a Better Schedule after COVID
After having a place I felt I finally could settle down at, we and offices across the world shut down due to COVID-19. The doctor and his wife kept in great contact with us the whole time making sure we knew our positions were not compromised. By the end of the three months, we had hundreds of patients overdue and ready to book.
As you may well very know, not everything opened up the same time. My children’s camp was not going to be open this summer. My fiance had his own classes to teach and his masters classes to be available for. I could no longer work my old schedule. I happened to get a call from an office I temped at for three half-days per week.
I’m grateful this new office is one that I loved working at and whom had a wonderful doctor and staff, but I was very sad to have to leave my current office. They let me know that I could come back anytime. I helped them to reach out to other hygienists to replace my position and so I left the practice on a very good note.
I’m not one of those hygienists who found a job right out of school and plans to stay there for the next 30 years until retirement. I went through many offices to find one that is right for me right now. Of course this may not be it as you can imaging from all the current changes, but it defiantly fits the bill for an office I’m comfortable at.
If you happen to find your office from the get, that is awesome for you and stay! However if you don’t feel quite comfortable I encourage you to find out what’s out there, you deserve a good office and they deserve a good hygienist!