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Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Millbrook AL, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online options also. Even though these may be important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the schools 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 due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly 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 guarantee that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Millbrook AL dental practices often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist schools have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It's not only important that the college you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Millbrook AL dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the Millbrook AL dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require help obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Millbrook AL dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the programs you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Millbrook 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 training can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Millbrook AL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm 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 must attend classes near Millbrook AL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still need 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 illness, work or family emergencies.