Dental Hygienist or RN?

Hello! My name is Collin. I’m 19 years old. I am trying to figure out should I become a dental hygienist or rn? Which one is easier to do? Which one pay better? Could I get either job with only an associates degree? Which do you recommend? Thank y’all! 

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  • 3 weeks ago

    These jobs are very different.  It depends on really what you're wanting to do in the healthcare.  I cannot make the decision for you, but will give you a bit of information about both.

    Dental Hygienists work usually in a dental office, and under the direction of a dentist. They provide the basic dental care like cleaning teeth, annual or biannual x-rays, patient education on how to deal with cleaning teeth, and other dental hygiene issues.  They also will help with dental procedures like fillings, crowns, wisdom teeth removal, and much more.  They generally have regular office hours like between 730 am to 5pm depending on the office.  The Dental Hygiene program is usually at the college level, and is about a 2-4 year program depending on the type of dental hygiene or technology that you would like to do.  It often requires you to get the basic general science courses like chemistry, biology, anatomy and physiology and other courses like this.  Usually an associates level will help you with having all the basic English, Sciences, Communications etc.  The best suggestion for this one is to look in your area for the college of dental hygienists and tell them that you're interested in this field, and what you would like to get out of this.  Also try and do some informational interviews with a few areas that you would like to do, and it will help you get some information regarding this. There are a few different areas that dental hygienists work including, but not limited to general dentistry, pediatrics, dental clinics in rural or desolate areas, research and much more.

    Registered Nurses can work in a variety of areas such as hospital care (surgery, orthopedics, emergency, trauma, research, education, etc), schools, well babies, research, doctor's offices, specialized medical clinics, and a variety of other areas. Applicants for this type of program often need to go and get their prerequisites such as Anatomy and Physiology, English, Sciences, Statistics etc.  Then they often need to get some volunteer work in the areas that they would like to go into.  Also, most schools due to the popularity of this program may require an entrance interview.  The program is a 4 year program as you need to first do all your prereqs, and then there is at least 2 years of nursing training.  There are quite a bit of responsibilities that they have... Some of them require: patient education/training, vitals, monitoring overall care through following doctor's orders such as medications, diet, vitals, therapies etc. They often have to help with patient care planning including transferring to different services and much more!  Consider talking with some nurses or with their college to get some more information about this field. 

    For both of these fields above, I would consider looking at some of the schools that you're interested in going to, and go to some of their information sessions, and come with a lot of questions so that you're able to make some sound decisions.  Another suggestion, is that you may want to consider looking at the Certified Dental Assistant level, so that you're able to see some of the basic things that you would have to do as a hygienist, and within time you can bridge higher.  With the Registered Nursing, you may want to consider doing the Licensed Practical Nurse, and then like the CDA level, you can easily bridge into the RN program eventually.

    These are just things to think about. I hope that this helps you!

  • juliet
    Lv 4
    3 weeks ago

    Two different careers and degree requirements. If you’re into fast income, then don’t become a nurse. It takes a level of passion and dedication to stick it out.

  • Eva
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Dental hygienist requires an associates. A RN requires a bachelors degree. The RN pays better.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    Do Both, expand your opportunities.

    My sister started as a Phlebotomist, then got her License as a RN, moving on to be a Pharmacist. She died owning three Hospital pharmacies.

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  • 4 weeks ago

    It would be faster and easier to become a dental hygienist.  Provided you don't mind cleaning people's teeth, this is a relatively well-paid job with normal business hours that will continue to be in demand and requires a certification relatively equivalent to that of an AA or AS degree.

    An Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) if offered by your community college is a 2-year degree that would enable you to sit for the the exam to become licensed as a registered nurse.  That noted, it is likely that ADN/RNs won't be getting the best paying jobs and you'd probably eventually need to get an BSN, Masters, or even a Doctor of Nursing practice if you want to advance.  Nursing can be very stressful and hospital jobs are 12-hour shifts that include nights and weekends rather than a 9-5 M-F job.

    As John noted, you really should speak with a academic advisor at your local CC to find out what programs they offer, look at the course work and costs, and think about what it is you want to do.

  • Judy
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    RN is harder, pays better.

  • John
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    You need to talk to your academic counselor or whoever you have that qualifies for that. You have much to learn about either field before you can do anything at all. Much more than can be said here.

  • hamel5
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    If you're looking for easy - don't become a Nurse.

    Hygienist has better hours and less stress

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