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Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Mountain Brook AL, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives also. Although these are important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite 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 education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Mountain Brook AL dental practices typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have associations with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It's not only important that the program you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Mountain Brook AL dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method 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 build professional relationships in the Mountain Brook AL dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need help getting their first job. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Mountain Brook AL dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Check with the programs you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Mountain Brook AL dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don't forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Mountain Brook AL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Mountain Brook AL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.