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Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Robertsdale AL, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online options also. Even though these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Robertsdale AL dental practices frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It's not only essential that the school you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Robertsdale AL dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Robertsdale AL dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the schools you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Robertsdale AL dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don't forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Robertsdale AL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near Robertsdale AL at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, 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 because of illness, work or family responsibilities.