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Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Gilbert AZ, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives as well. Although these are relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Gilbert AZ dental practices frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist programs have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It's not only imperative that the program you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Gilbert AZ dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are considering have internship programs. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the Gilbert AZ dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Gilbert AZ dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the programs you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Gilbert AZ dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don't forget to add all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Gilbert AZ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near Gilbert AZ at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical 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 issues.