I am writing as an experienced hygienist of 45 years in 60 offices who cannot get a license in the state of Illinois. Our family runs a seasonal restaurant and for the past 20 years I have designed my career around the March-October season and then sought three- to four-month temp jobs in Colorado for a work/vacation kind of winter.
Most recently, having moved to Illinois, I applied for a license. I paid the fees, got all the necessary documentation from all the necessary agencies and then waited. I was told that because I could not come up with 36 months of employment out of the previous 60 months that I was not eligible. I suited up to the professional nines and drove the 200 roundtrip miles to actually sit and talk to the Board. Nothing about my university level education, my CE mania, or my experience could move them off their rules.
The most recent correspondence from the board suggested an attorney. Now who has the deeper pockets, me or the state of Illinois for pursuing the legal aspect?
I do not understand why a hygienist with my degree of passion for my profession should be discriminated against when only doing what every wife, mother, and grandmother is asked to do at times. Work around the family obligations.
We do understand that if a new hygienist graduates and passes her boards, pays her state fees annually, and does not work that she can walk into the work force with no experience at all 5, 10, or 15 years post graduation.
National standards have been a wish since I graduated 45 years ago. Are we any closer? And if not, why not?
Suzanne Mann, RDH