Career influences and perceptions of pre-dental hygiene students

Angela L Monson, Brigette R Cooper
2009 Journal of dental hygiene : JDH  
Dental hygiene programs have a responsibility to help potential applicants determine if dental hygiene is the best career choice for them. Good fit of career promotes a satisfied workforce along with retention within the profession. The purposes of this study were to describe students interested in dental hygiene, influential factors on career choice, and how perceptions of the profession were impacted by an introductory career course. Pre- and post-course surveys were distributed to 186
more » ... s enrolled in "Perspectives in Dental Hygiene" at a state university. An overall response rate of 97% (N=181) was achieved. The average participant was 18-19 years old, female, Caucasian, worked 0-10 hours/week, and reported a GPA of 3.5-4.0. The most influential people for career choice were dental hygienists, dentists, and mothers. Observing a dental hygienist was the most influential activity. Influential factors impacting career choice favorably were helping people, good career with family, and availability of jobs. Influential negative factors included stress of prerequisite science and dental hygiene coursework. Frequent alternate occupations considered by post-course participants included nursing, dentistry, dental assisting, and education. Dental hygienists and dentists play a key role in influencing career choice of dental hygienists. Additional potential applicants may be found by providing opportunities for students interested in nursing, education, dentistry, and dental assisting to learn more about the dental hygiene profession.
pmid:19723431 fatcat:xmlqoneta5enhd3p373tbdkvy4