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Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Hartselle AL, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for some online options also. Although these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many important 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 condition in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Hartselle AL dental practices typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist programs have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It's not only imperative that the school you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Hartselle AL dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for 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 Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require assistance landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Hartselle AL dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the colleges you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Hartselle AL dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant 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 comparing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Hartselle AL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Hartselle AL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required 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 illness, work or family emergencies.