DO WE HAVE TOO MANY DENTAL HYGIENISTS?

A Hygienist/Staffing Specialist in Cleveland/Akron, Ohio posed this question on LinkedIn to the American Dental Education Association:   “…why are schools graduating so many Dental Hygienists in a field that is very saturated, with little chance of job opportunities for these new Dental Hygiene grads? “

I am also interested in hearing the answer. Here in south Florida there is a plethora of well trained, dedicated Hygienists who are working part-time for Staffing Agencies, or as clinical assistants, and in other industries, because there are not enough opportunities in dental offices. My colleagues in Philadelphia and southern California tell me the situation is similar there.

Do you find this to be the case in YOUR area?

From The Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Job prospects are expected to be favorable in most areas, but will vary by geographical location. Because graduates are permitted to practice only in the State in which they are licensed, hygienists wishing to practice in areas that have an abundance of dental hygiene programs may experience strong competition for jobs.

Projection data from the National Employment Matrix Occupation:
Dental hygienists

174,100 2008
237,000 2018
36% increase

Do you feel that expanding the legal functions of Hygienists, and relaxing their areas of “direct supervision” will alleviate this problem?

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