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Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Fort Payne AL, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for several online options as well. Although these are important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Fort Payne AL dental practices typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist schools have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It's not only important that the school you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Fort Payne AL dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to get hands-on, clinical 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 form professional relationships in the Fort Payne AL dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Fort Payne AL dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the programs you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Fort Payne AL dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses 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 include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Fort Payne AL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Fort Payne AL at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.