Many of you know or have volunteered with Smiles Forever in Bolivia. Please consider donating to their fundraising campaign for 2022. Each dollar you donate goes directly to providing free preventive and restorative care to children in Bolivia! As a dental hygienist, I have always been passionate about preventative care for children, but as a new Mom, I am compelled to dedicate my life to this program. Children deserve to be cared for and to be loved. Dental care should be accessible and available to all. We are only able to provide free preventive and restorative dental care to children while simultaneously building our dental hygiene school at UPAL University because of donations. Please consider Smiles Forever when thinking about your end of year contributions. We are eradicating dental cavities and providing love and support where there is none. Please visit the online auction to make a donation http://www.smilesforever.org
Dental Connections surveys local dental hygienists on an annual basis to produce accurate, comprehensive, and current statistics about their wages and benefits in dental offices. The answers to this survey are completely anonymous and provide the most up to date and accurate statistics available anywhere.
Before reading the results, we want to point out some key observations and historical trends:
• This survey combines ALL types of hygienists: traditional, accelerated, restorative, part time, full time, experienced, new grads, etc. Accelerated and restorative hygienists typically make more than traditional hygienists. Full time workers receive better benefits than part time workers. Take this into account while analyzing the statistics.
• The greater Seattle area is in its 6th year of an extreme shortage of hygienists. The Covid-19 pandemic has made a bad situation even worse. There are cohorts of workers that have retired or not returned to the workforce for health concerns/childcare reasons. The average age of workers has decreased dramatically. Years of experience dropped from 15.85 in 2020 to 9.99 in 2021. That is a startling number. Maybe it is a one year anomaly or the older generation of hygienists will not return at all.
• The survey compares hourly rates in 2021 vs. 2020. Examining just one geographic segment in North King County reveals hourly rates have risen over 9% in a single year. The increases vary by geographic area, but all track a similar trend of upward pressure on wages.
• Historically, experienced professionals that have spent more time in a single practice are compensated higher for loyalty. This is no longer the case because the shortage and increasing wages has not plateaued yet. Dental hygienists are routinely accepting permanent job offers or temp jobs well above the average hourly rates of employed individuals.
• 21% of respondents are part time workers and this has a dramatic effect on benefits statistics. The benefits percentages are lower as a result of the part time workers reporting lesser benefits.
Before determining whether an hourly rate is fair, consider all important factors: location, hygiene role performed, experience level, type of practice, and benefits (which can add approximately $5-$15/hour to the compensation package). Lastly, being satisfied in your job or with a loyal employee on a daily basis is always worth way more than a couple dollars an hour.
BUILDING A WORKFORCE TO MEET THE NEED
Challenge Grant: $500,000
Raised to Date: $ 258,205
Campaign ends 12/31/2021 at Midnight … and the clock is ticking…
Your support will make a difference!
WHY CONTRIBUTE? • Dental hygienist positions in Washington remain open an average of 4 months. • For every hygienist seeking a position, more than 4 positions are now available. • Open positions for dental hygienists in King and Snohomish counties totaled more than 550 at survey time. • Your contribution will help build the dental hygienist work force and improve access to oral health care in Washington State.
WHERE DOES YOUR CONTRIBUTION FIT? Shoreline Community College and the University of Washington School of Dentistry have formed a partnership to sustain and expand dental hygiene education. The ARCORA Foundation donated $1million outright and an additional $500,000 matching grant in support of that goal. Now comes the challenge of raising the additional $500,000 from oral health champions and advocates throughout the state. The clock is ticking. We have until midnight, Dec. 31, 2021, to meet this challenge and deliver a $2million boost to dental hygiene education. Your donation will make a difference!