How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near Baldwin Park California
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Baldwin Park CA is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Baldwin Park CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every 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
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Baldwin Park CA dental practices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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 practical component to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program can be a good alternative for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Baldwin Park CA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the ideal option for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Baldwin Park CA, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives as well. Although these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Baldwin Park CA employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist schools have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Baldwin Park CA dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective means to get 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 establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need help obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Baldwin Park CA dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Check with the programs you are reviewing how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Baldwin Park CA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Baldwin Park CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Baldwin Park CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required 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 work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Baldwin Park CA?
Baldwin Park, California
Baldwin Park is a city located in the central San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles County, California, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 75,390, down from 75,837 at the 2000 census.
Baldwin Park began as part of cattle grazing land belonging to the San Gabriel Mission. It eventually became part of the Rancho Azusa de Dalton and the Rancho La Puente properties. The community became known as Vineland in 1860. By 1906 it changed to Baldwin Park. It was named after Elias J. "Lucky" Baldwin. In 1956 Baldwin Park became the 47th incorporated city in the State of California. Currently the city is pushing to revitalize its economic base. There are six active Project Redevelopment Areas located in strategic areas of the city.
Projects within these redevelopment areas are as diverse, including high-quality senior housing, Home Depot, Starbucks, Harley Davidson, a transit oriented district (TOD) near the Metrolink Train Station and various other thriving businesses.
Baldwin Park is home to the first In-N-Out burger stand, opened on October 22, 1948. It was the first drive-thru in California and was replaced in November 2004 with a new building. The new In-N-Out University and company store opened in 2006 on Francisquito Avenue. Also, the company's first meatpacking plant is located down the street from the locations at the company headquarters on Hamburger Lane. In/N/Out now has a second meat processing plant in Texas to serve their Texas restaurants.
Pick the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Baldwin Park CA
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist course is crucial 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 alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Baldwin Park CA.
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