With dental need at an all time high in California and access to dental care decreasing, local programs are using the Tobacco Tax funds to find ways to increase access to preventive dental and dental hygiene care in their communities. Dental hygienists (RDH) and dental hygienists in alternative practice (RDHAP) are in high demand. Qualified dental hygiene practitioners are encouraged to call Susan and see how we can be of service.
The following was composed by Susan McLearan, RDH, RDHAP, MS, for placement in the Journal of the California Dental Hygienists' Association. She allowed me to post is also in my blog, hoping to reach dental hygienists.
CDHA sent e-mails to the 52 counties/jurisdictions that are eligible for Proposition 56 (Tobacco Tax) funding for a Local Oral Health Program funded through the Office of Oral Health. Twenty two responses were received describing the projects in various stages of development and giving some ideas as to what their needs might be. The respondent reported that the most have hygienists on their advisory boards and several are already using hygienists in their programs.
Rural areas are most in need of help. There is a particular need for hygienist Medi-Cal Dental providers to work part time. Some would want hygienists to contract with the county, others would have hygienists contract directly with schools.
The following jurisdictions have been identified as wanting hygienists to consider their programs.
Alpine Mariposa Orange
Berkeley Placer San Diego
Calaveras San Bernardino Solano
Humboldt San Luis Obispo Trinity
Lassen Santa Barbara Tulare
Although the type of services, length of the need, and meas of payment will vary, it might be worthwhile to make inquiries in the area near you. For example, Placer County reports that they pay RDHs and RDHAPs quite well on an hourly basis. They are not required to do "the paperwork". They project director feels that what they offer might be good for someone who works in an office 4 days a week but want to make some extra money now and then. They will have quite a few days this Fall for screenings and fluoride varnish applications for preschools and kindergartners.
If you wish to learn more about potential opportunities and need a contact person, please e-mail Susan McLearan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Elena Francisco, RDHAP, MS has been practicing dental hygiene for over 40 years and has been an RDHAP since 2005.