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Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Florence AL, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they search for some online options as well. Although these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify 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 education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Florence AL dental practices typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It's not only important that the college you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Florence AL dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective means to get 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require help landing their first job. Check if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Florence AL dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the colleges you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Florence AL dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But besides 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Florence AL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near Florence AL at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose 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 work, illness or family responsibilities.