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Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Alabaster AL, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online options as well. Although these may be significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Alabaster AL dental practices frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist colleges have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It's not only essential that the college you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Alabaster AL dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Alabaster AL dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the colleges you are reviewing how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Alabaster AL dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Alabaster AL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Alabaster AL at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.