“We’re going to have to let you go.”
“We’re moving in a different direction.”
“Your services will not be needed any longer.”
As you gather your personal belongings, usually with someone watching to ensure you don’t steal anything, your heart is pounding and your head is swimming. You’ve just been fired, and you’re not alone. It seems dental hygienists are finding themselves in this situation more often than ever. Most hygienists work with the assumption that doing a good job equals job security.
I’ve spoken with many hygienists who were gobsmacked when they got fired. Their patients loved them, they met their production goals, they built up the hygiene department from nothing, and they had good relationships with their coworkers. They were professional, hardworking, and responsible. The sad truth is that someone can be the best and still get sacked. The reasons are as specific as the individual and his or her workplace.
Does the doctor have staff problems, personal problems, money problems? How many experienced RDHs have been replaced with younger graduates who will work for less money and shorter appointment times? Yes, it’s harsh, but it happens. Dismissal from work ranks in the top 10 list of stressful life events, according to the Holmes and Rahe scale.1