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Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Sylacauga AL, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives as well. Even though these are significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program 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 going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. In order 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 instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Sylacauga AL dental practices typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It's not only essential that the college you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Sylacauga AL dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs require help obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are reviewing 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 Sylacauga AL dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the programs you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Sylacauga AL dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Sylacauga AL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Sylacauga AL at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical 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 responsibilities.