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Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Muscle Shoals AL, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives as well. Although these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal 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 college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify 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. Muscle Shoals AL dental practices often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It's not only essential that the college you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Muscle Shoals AL dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to get hands-on, practical 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 are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools require help getting their first job. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Muscle Shoals AL dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the colleges you are evaluating how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Muscle Shoals AL dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to 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 analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Muscle Shoals AL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Muscle Shoals AL at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.