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What to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Rainbow City AL, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for several online alternatives as well. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Rainbow City AL dental practices frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It's not only important that the college you choose provides adequate 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, confirm that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Rainbow City AL dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the Rainbow City AL dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are considering 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 Rainbow City AL dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the colleges you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Rainbow City AL dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant 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 schools, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Rainbow City AL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and must go to classes near Rainbow City AL at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.