Mild egg moon (fionajanine) wrote in teeth_like_whoa,
Mild egg moon

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Advice on getting into Dental Hygiene school.

(Cross-posted in Dent_School)
When I graduated from High School in 1999, I had no idea what I wanted to do my life. The only job experience I had at that point was a part time cashier position at a suburban McDonald's. The only subject that I enjoyed in High School was Art class. I was naive and callow, I didn't take my education seriously, and I didn't have any specific future goals. The future seemed distant and inconsequential. The only thing I could think about was socializing in this new, exciting world of youthful freedom, fueled by my raging hormones.

I visited a flashy, for-profit Art school and decided to attend after an enthusiastic admissions counselor talked me into it. I spent two years learning about Graphic Design; however, the only information I seemed to absorb was how to ingest copious amounts of alcohol and interact with my peers.

Needless to say, when I graduated I felt very lost in the real world. I was 40k in debt to Sallie Mae, and I couldn't find a Graphic Design job. I didn't feel that I had the proper experience to obtain a Graphic Design job. Once I graduated, the flashy, for-profit Art school set me up with a factory job where I stood in the same place all day putting metal letters on gravestones. I've jumped from one dead-end job to the next. I've worked a variety of jobs over the years: Waitress, Sushi prep chef, Administrative assistant, Data entry clerk, Seasonal Art educator, Survey telephone al.

Currently, I am twenty eight years old, and I'm very serious about my goals. I am frustrated with the fact that I didn't take my education seriously in my youth. My main goal is to get into the University of Pittsburgh- School of Dental Medicine's Dental Hygiene program. I am currently in Community College working very hard towards obtaining my pre-requisites. I've been doing well (3.8 GPA); however, I'm worried that I won't be able to get into Pitt's Dental Hygiene program, due to my previous track record (low attendance and GPA). They only take 36 students! Yikes!

I'd like to know if anyone on this board has any information on the University of Pittsburgh's Dental Hygiene Program.

How difficult is it to get into Dental Hygiene school?
Are the classes intimidating and intense?
Do you enjoy working in the field?
Did you have any problems finding a job?
Are you happy with your career choice?
How much money do Dental Hygienists in Pittsburgh earn?

When I think about working as a Dental Hygienist I feel very optimistic. I've obsessively read about the pros and cons of the field.

Flexible hours.
Good Pay.
Job Security.
Jobs are available everywhere (can move around- once you obtain certification-).
Interacting with different people and not sitting at a desk all day.
Normal work hours in a clean office.
In demand, due to the aging baby boomer population. People are keeping their teeth longer.

May not receive health/dental insurance.
Carpal tunnel, neck and back pain.
Work at more than one office.
Only work part-time.
Difficult dentists.
No advancement.

Please tell me how you feel about the Dental Hygiene field. I've always been fascinated by the dental field, and I really feel that this may be the right choice for me. It's hard to know until I'm actually in the field, but something tells me that this may be the right choice for me.

Thank you so much for any advice you can offer!
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