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What to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Madison AL, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they search for some online options also. Although these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the schools 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 ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Madison AL dental practices frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Clinical 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. Most dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It's not only important that the school you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Madison AL dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to receive 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 establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs require help obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Madison AL dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the schools you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Madison AL dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant 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 colleges, don't forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Madison AL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Madison AL in the evenings 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 protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.