Not everyone could handle being a dental hygienist. Britni Taylor spends most of her day looking into people’s mouths, and it’s not always pretty.
“I definitely think it takes a special person to experience heavily bleeding gums,” said Taylor, a dental hygienist for Dr. Mark Reichman in Orland Park. I’ve seen pus coming out of infections. That’s not too common, but bleeding gums you see every day.” Taylor said nothing grosses her out anymore. For people like her, who don’t let a little pus stand in the way of passion, the payoffs can be great.
Dental hygienists may carry a number of duties, but they mostly are responsible for teeth cleanings. Taylor, of Homewood, also sends appointment reminder cards and maintains a call-back system for people who have strayed from the dental chair. “My room is prepared for me the night before,” Taylor said. “I come in a half-hour early and go through charts, see who needs X-rays.” Taylor studied for two years in the dental hygienist program at Prairie State College for an associate’s degree. She was among only 36 students accepted into the program. Most jobs are part time, and many hygienists work at more than one office. Hours are flexible, and Taylor said it’s good for moms who need a job that will work around their schedule. Some hygienists also work through temporary staffing agencies. “If I wanted to move to California, I could,” Taylor said. “I’d have to take the board exam there, but I’d find a job.” (source)