How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist School near Berkeley California
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Berkeley CA is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, for instance the program’s reputation and accreditation. 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 accomplish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Berkeley CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate 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. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Berkeley CA dental offices are usually 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 nearly 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 clinical component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Choosing an online dental hygienist college can be a good option for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the comfort of your Berkeley CA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Berkeley CA, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online options also. Even though these are significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly 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 get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Berkeley CA employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist programs have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Berkeley CA dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective 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 establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need help obtaining their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Berkeley CA dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the schools you are looking at how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Berkeley CA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Berkeley CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Berkeley CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Berkeley CA?
Berkeley (/ˈbɜːrkliː/ BURK-lee) is a city on the east shore of San Francisco Bay in northern Alameda County, California. It is named after the 18th-century Anglo-Irish bishop and philosopher George Berkeley. It borders the cities of Oakland and Emeryville to the south and the city of Albany and the unincorporated community of Kensington to the north. Its eastern border with Contra Costa County generally follows the ridge of the Berkeley Hills. The 2010 census recorded a population of 112,580.
Berkeley is home to the oldest campus in the University of California system, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which is managed and operated by the University. It also has the Graduate Theological Union, one of the largest religious studies institutions in the world. Berkeley is one of the most socially liberal cities in the United States.
The site of today's City of Berkeley was the territory of the Chochenyo/Huchiun band of the Ohlone people when the first Europeans arrived. Evidence of their existence in the area include pits in rock formations, which they used to grind acorns, and a shellmound, now mostly leveled and covered up, along the shoreline of San Francisco Bay at the mouth of Strawberry Creek. Other artifacts were discovered in the 1950s in the downtown area during remodeling of a commercial building, near the upper course of the creek.
The first people of European descent (most of whom were of mixed race and born in America) arrived with the De Anza Expedition in 1776. Today, this is noted by signage on Interstate 80, which runs along the San Francisco Bay shoreline of Berkeley. The De Anza Expedition led to establishment of the Spanish Presidio of San Francisco at the entrance to San Francisco Bay (the Golden Gate), which is due west of Berkeley. Luis Peralta was among the soldiers at the Presidio. For his services to the King of Spain, he was granted a vast stretch of land on the east shore of San Francisco Bay (the contra costa, "opposite shore") for a ranch, including that portion that now comprises the City of Berkeley.
Find the Best Dental Hygienist College near Berkeley CA
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist course is important if you want 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 available to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly two years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Berkeley CA.
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