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Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Phoenix AZ, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the colleges 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 right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Phoenix AZ dental practices typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It's not only important that the program you select provides 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 college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Phoenix AZ dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are probably the best method to get 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 professional relationships in the Phoenix AZ dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require assistance getting their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Phoenix AZ dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the schools you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Phoenix AZ dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don't forget to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Phoenix AZ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Phoenix AZ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.