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Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Orange Beach AL, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online options as well. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the programs you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Orange Beach AL dental practices frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It's not only imperative that the program you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Orange Beach AL dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to get 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 develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Orange Beach AL dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Orange Beach AL dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as 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 costs 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 examining the cost of schools, don't forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Orange Beach AL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Orange Beach AL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.