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Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Auburn AL, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives also. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Auburn AL dental practices often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist programs have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It's not only imperative that the school 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, make sure that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Auburn AL dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal way to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need assistance landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Auburn AL dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Ask the colleges you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Auburn AL dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, don't forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Auburn AL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Auburn AL at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.