How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Half Moon Bay California
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist college near Half Moon Bay CA is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider as well, for instance the school’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. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Half Moon Bay CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Half Moon Bay CA dental practices are generally required to hold 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 almost every state. They are offered in trade and vocational 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 Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school may be a viable alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Half Moon Bay CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Half Moon Bay CA, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for several online options also. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. 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 instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Half Moon Bay CA employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist programs have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Half Moon Bay CA dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help 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 also.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools require assistance landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Half Moon Bay CA dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the schools you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Half Moon Bay CA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume 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 besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Half Moon Bay CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Half Moon Bay CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Half Moon Bay CA?
Half Moon Bay, California
Half Moon Bay is a coastal city in San Mateo County, California, United States. Its population was 11,324 as of the 2010 census. Immediately at the north of Half Moon Bay is the Pillar Point Harbor and the unincorporated community of Princeton-by-the-Sea. The urban area had a population of 20,713 at the same census.
Half Moon Bay began as a rural agriculture area, primarily used for grazing of cattle, horses, and oxen used by Mission San Francisco de Asis (established in June 1776). Following the secularization of the Mission, Tiburcio Vásquez received the Rancho Corral de Tierra Mexican land grant in 1839 and Candelario Miramontes was granted Rancho Miramontes (later known as Rancho San Benito) in 1841.
The community began to develop in the 1840s as the first real town in San Mateo County. Known originally as San Benito, the town was renamed Spanishtown and attracted a thriving fishing industry in addition to its continued importance to coastal agriculture. Spanishtown became a racially diverse community, settled by Canadians, Chinese, English, Germans, Irish, Mexicans, Italians, Scots, Portuguese, and Pacific Islanders. Regular stagecoach service was established with San Mateo; coaches also served the communities of Purissima, Lobitos, and San Gregorio. Levy Brothers opened a department store in downtown Half Moon Bay. Spanishtown was officially renamed Half Moon Bay in 1874.
The area grew very slowly, even after the Ocean Shore Railroad began serving the community in 1907. The construction of Pedro Mountain Road in 1914 provided better access to San Francisco and probably contributed to the demise of the railroad by 1920. The USS DeLong ran aground at Half Moon Bay 1 December 1921. During Prohibition "rum runners" took advantage of dense fog and hidden coves in the area to serve a number of roadhouses and inns, some of which operate today as restaurants. Real growth in the area came after World War II with the construction of numerous subdivisions, eventually leading to the incorporation of Half Moon Bay in 1959. The city preserves a historic downtown district which includes historic buildings dating as far back as 1869.
Select the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Half Moon Bay CA
Picking the right dental hygienist program is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually receive 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 attend 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 right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Half Moon Bay CA.
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