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Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Eagle River AK, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online options as well. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School 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 condition in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Eagle River AK dental practices typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist programs have associations with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It's not only imperative that the school you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Eagle River AK dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best method to obtain 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 develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require help landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Eagle River AK dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the programs you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Eagle River AK dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial 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 comparing the cost of schools, don't forget to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Eagle River AK area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and must attend classes near Eagle River AK at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.