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Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Fairbanks AK, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online options as well. Even though these are significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 ensure that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Fairbanks AK dental practices frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It's not only essential that the school you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Fairbanks AK dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are considering have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective method to obtain 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 professional relationships in the Fairbanks AK dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools need help obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Fairbanks AK dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the schools you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger 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 Fairbanks AK dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example 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 significant 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 analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Fairbanks AK area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Fairbanks AK in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.