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Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Fairhope AL, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they look for several online alternatives also. Although these may be significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost 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 ensure that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Fairhope AL dental practices typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It's not only imperative that the college you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Fairhope 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 method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real 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 are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need help landing their first job. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Fairhope AL dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the colleges you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Fairhope AL dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 analyzing the cost of schools, don't forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Fairhope AL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near Fairhope AL at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.