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ABC's 'The View' Apologizes for Hygienist Comments

Posted on July 19, 2012

July 17, 2012 — The ABC television show "The View" has issued an apology of sorts over comments made last week on its show about the educational requirements and annual salary of dental hygienists.

In a segment entitled "Where Are The Jobs?" financial expert 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 the following statement in response to the outcry:

On July 6, 2012, during a segment called "Who's Hiring Now," our expert reported that dental hygienists do not need a college degree and that the average salary is $45,000 annually.

We have since heard from the American Dental Hygienists' Association and several dental hygienists. 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.