How to Enroll In the Right Dental Hygiene School near Globe Arizona
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Globe AZ is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to consider also, for instance the school's accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let's look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Globe AZ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient's teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist's responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the "RDH" designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Globe AZ dental offices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are offered in community colleges as well as trade and technical schools. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist school might be a good option for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Globe AZ home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the ideal choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Globe AZ, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives as well. Even though these are significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Globe AZ dental practices typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist programs have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It's not only important that the school you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Globe AZ dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the best means 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 form professional relationships in the Globe AZ dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require help landing their first job. Find out if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Globe AZ dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the schools you are reviewing how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Globe AZ dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. 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 comparing the cost of schools, don't forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Globe AZ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Globe AZ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Pick the Right Globe Dental Hygienist Courses
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental hygienist programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately two years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Globe Arizona.