How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near Harrisburg Arkansas
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Harrisburg AR is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account also, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Harrisburg AR dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost 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 Examination as well as any state licensing exams. When 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
As a result of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Harrisburg AR dental offices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are offered in trade and technical schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a clinical component to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school may be a good option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the comfort of your Harrisburg AR home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Harrisburg AR, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online options as well. Even though these may be significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should address to the programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Harrisburg AR employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have associations with area dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Harrisburg AR dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method to receive hands-on, practical 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 build professional relationships in the Harrisburg AR dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require help getting their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Harrisburg AR dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the colleges you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Harrisburg AR dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Harrisburg AR area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near Harrisburg AR at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Harrisburg AR?
Harrisburg is a city in Poinsett County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 2,288 at the 2010 census. It is included in the Jonesboro, Arkansas Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is the county seat of Poinsett County.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,192 people, 855 households, and 582 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,050.4 people per square mile (404.9/km²). There were 928 housing units at an average density of 444.7/sq mi (171.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.66% White, 1.24% Black or African American, 0.09% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.87% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. 1.51% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race and 00.01% Other.
There were 855 households out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 15.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.9% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.84.
In the city, the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 22.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.8 males.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Harrisburg AR
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is important if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of options available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking 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 begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Harrisburg AR.
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