On July 6, in a segment entitled "Where Are The Jobs?" financial reporter Regina Lewis stated that a college degree is not needed to become a dental hygienist and that the average hygienist's salary is $45,000.
Dental hygienists took to the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA) Facebook page and the show's message boards in droves following the program, upset at the inaccuracies and misportrayals of the profession. ADHA leadership also responded quickly, with ADHA President Susan Savage, RDH, BSDH, penning a letter to ABC asking the network and "The View" to "provide the American public with an accurate portrayal of dental hygienists and the vital role they play in Americans' oral and total health."
On July 16, "The View" issued a statement that read, in part:
We are told that dental hygienists, to obtain state licensure, generally go through a rigorous college-level certification program, and that in the process many obtain at least an associate's degree and some go on to a bachelor's or even a master's degree. Also, the salary we gave was the average starting salary. In fact, the median salary for a dental hygienist in 2010 was $68,250 annually. We regret any confusion.
Many in the dental hygienist community were underwhelmed by the show's response and again took to the ADHA Facebook page and the show's message boards.
Now "The View" has issued a clarification of its original response that many hygienists still find lacking:
Since this report aired, we have received complaints from some dental hygienists and have been in a continuing dialogue with the American Dental Hygienists' Association. We are now told that of the 334 entry-level dental hygiene programs in the United States, 290 of them award their graduates an associate's degree, 53 award their graduates a baccalaureate degree, and some offer both degrees. Also, there are twenty programs that offer a master's degree in dental hygiene or related health sciences. In addition, the salary we gave was the average starting salary. In 2010, the median salary for a dental hygienist was $68,250 annually. We regret any confusion.
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