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Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Decatur AL, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online options as well. Although these are important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Decatur AL dental practices often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist programs have associations with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It's not only essential that the school you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Decatur AL dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal way 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 establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Decatur AL dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the programs you are looking at how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Decatur AL dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don't forget to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Decatur AL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near Decatur AL at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.