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What to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Brook Highland AL, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online options also. Even though these may be important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. In order 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 training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Brook Highland AL dental practices frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist schools have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It's not only imperative that the school you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Brook Highland AL dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best means to receive 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 build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require help obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Brook Highland AL dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the colleges you are looking at how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Brook Highland AL dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether 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 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. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Brook Highland AL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near Brook Highland AL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.