I am writing in response to the article, "Displaced Veterans" (April 1997 issue). Everyday, I scan the classified ad column of the local paper seeing numerous jobs listed for dental hygienists for which I would qualify. The only problem is, "I too," had to leave my New York state license at the Florida state line.
I graduated from an accredited dental hygiene program and had been employed full time in New York state since my graduation in 1969. I have continued my education with various courses offered at the University of Buffalo Dental School and seminars offered through the dental societies, both state and local chapters.
I was not surprised to think that I would have to take a clinical state exam to confirm my credentials, but was shocked to think I would be required to repeat a national board - due to the fact it had been 10 years since I was last tested. Ten years is the cutoff time for the state of Florida.
To go through the "hoops" again was enough to put my "teeth on edge." Reviewing all the academics was "mind-boggling," not to mention the cost involved. How sad to think that I, as a skilled hygienist, having practiced under the supervision of a dentist, would now have to prove myself worthy of practicing in the state of Florida. "Displaced veteran," indeed!
I am all in favor of licensure by credentials and would be more than willing to help in the campaign. We live in a mobile society. People are constantly relocating. Is the profession of dental hygiene so far behind the times? How many other highly skilled hygienists are out there, forced out of their profession due to political "hocus-pocus?"
As devoted as I was to my profession, I am resigned to the fact that I must now pursue other interests. But, as I scan the classified, I can`t help think, "If only I could..."
Rhonda B. Buffin, RDH