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Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Atmore AL, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for several online alternatives also. Although these may be significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Atmore AL dental practices often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist colleges have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It's not only important that the school you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Atmore AL dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the best means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require help landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Atmore AL dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the colleges you are evaluating how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Atmore AL dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don't forget to add all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Atmore AL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and must attend classes near Atmore 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 due to work, illness or family issues.