How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Desert Hot Springs California
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near Desert Hot Springs CA is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider also, such as the program’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 accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Desert Hot Springs CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensing exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Desert Hot Springs CA dental offices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist college can be a viable option for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the comfort of your Desert Hot Springs CA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Desert Hot Springs CA, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives also. Although these are significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost 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 guarantee that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Desert Hot Springs CA employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important component of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Desert Hot Springs CA dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to get hands-on, clinical 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 develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs require help obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Desert Hot Springs CA dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Desert Hot Springs CA dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant 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 comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Desert Hot Springs CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Desert Hot Springs CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Desert Hot Springs CA?
Desert Hot Springs, California
Desert Hot Springs, also known as DHS, is a city in Riverside County, California, United States. The city is located within the Coachella Valley geographic region, sometimes referred to as the Desert Empire. The population was 25,938 at the 2010 census, up from 16,582 at the 2000 census. The city has undergone rapid development and high population growth since the 1970s, when there were 2,700 residents.
It is named for its many natural hot springs. It is one of few places in the world with naturally occurring hot- and cold mineral springs. Desert Hot Springs is home to the largest collection of warm mineral springs in the United States. More than 20 natural mineral spring lodgings can be found in town. Unlike most hot springs, the mineral springs in town are odorless.
The only people residing in areas north of Palm Springs prior to the 20th century was Cahuilla Indians in the village of Seven Palms. Although Cahuilla people never settled permanently in today’s Desert Hot Springs, they often camped here during winter times due to the warm climate.
According to early homesteader and writer Cabot Yerxa in his newspaper columns published in The Desert Sentinel newspaper, the first homesteader in the area of the city of Desert Hot Springs was Hilda Maude Gray, who staked her claim in 1908. Cabot Yerxa arrived in 1913 and soon discovered the hot water aquifer on Miracle Hill. Due to the Mission Creek Branch of the San Andreas Fault bisecting the area, one side is a cold water aquifer, the other has a hot water aquifer. His large Pueblo Revival Style architecture structure, hand built over 20 years, is now one of the oldest adobe-style buildings in Riverside County, and houses Cabot's Pueblo Museum, designated a state historical site after his death in 1965. Cabot's Trading Post & Gallery opened there in February 2008.
Pick the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Desert Hot Springs CA
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist course is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to receive your education 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, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Desert Hot Springs CA.
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