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Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Juneau AK, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for several online options as well. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied 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 School Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Juneau AK dental practices typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It's not only imperative that the program you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Juneau AK dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the best way 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 create professional relationships in the Juneau AK dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need help getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Juneau AK dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the colleges you are evaluating how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Juneau AK dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, don't forget to include all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Juneau AK area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near Juneau AK at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.