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What to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Smiths Station AL, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for some online alternatives also. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning 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 program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Smiths Station AL dental practices typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist colleges have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It's not only essential that the program you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Smiths Station AL dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for 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 too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need help obtaining their first job. Check if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Smiths Station AL dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the colleges you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Smiths Station AL dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to 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 programs, don't forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Smiths Station AL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Smiths Station AL at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need 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 because of illness, work or family emergencies.