How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Program near Huntington Beach California
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Huntington Beach CA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account also, such as the program’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 accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Huntington Beach CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending 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
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Huntington Beach CA dental practices are often 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 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| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college may be a great alternative for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Huntington Beach CA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the right option for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Huntington Beach CA, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online options as well. Even though these may be important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition 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 education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Huntington Beach CA employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have associations with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Huntington Beach CA dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the Huntington Beach CA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need help getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Huntington Beach CA dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the colleges you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Huntington Beach CA dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add 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 grants, loans and scholarships in the Huntington Beach CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Huntington Beach CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Huntington Beach CA?
Huntington Beach, California
Huntington Beach is a seaside city in Orange County in Southern California. The city is named after American businessman Henry E. Huntington. The population was 189,992 during the 2010 census, making it the most populous beach city in Orange County and the seventh most populous city in the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. Its estimated 2014 population was 200,809. It is bordered by Bolsa Chica Basin State Marine Conservation Area on the west, the Pacific Ocean on the southwest, by Seal Beach on the northwest, by Westminster on the north, by Fountain Valley on the northeast, by Costa Mesa on the east, and by Newport Beach on the southeast.
Huntington Beach (locally initialized "HB") is known for its long 9.5-mile (15.3 km) stretch of sandy beach, mild climate, excellent surfing, and beach culture. The ocean waves are enhanced by a natural effect caused by the edge-diffraction of open ocean swells around Santa Catalina Island. Swells generated predominantly from the North Pacific in winter and from a combination of Southern Hemisphere storms and hurricanes in the summer focus on Huntington Beach, creating consistent surf all year long, hence the nickname "Surf City".
The area was originally occupied by the Tongva people. European settlement can be traced to a Spanish soldier, Manuel Nieto, who in 1784 received a Spanish land grant of 300,000 acres (1,200 km2), Rancho Los Nietos, as a reward for his military service and to encourage settlement in Alta California. Nieto's western area was reduced in 1790 because of a dispute with the Mission San Gabriel, but he retained thousands of acres stretching from the hills north of Whittier, Fullerton and Brea, south to the Pacific Ocean, and from today's Los Angeles River on the west, to the Santa Ana River on the east.
The main thoroughfare of Huntington Beach, Beach Boulevard, was originally a cattle route for the main industry of the Rancho. Since its time as a parcel of the enormous Spanish land grant, Huntington Beach has undergone many incarnations. One time it was known as Shell Beach, the town of Smeltzer, and then Gospel Swamp for the revival meetings that were held in the marshland where the community college Golden West College can currently be found. Later it became known as Fairview and then Pacific City, as it developed into a tourist destination. In order to secure access to the Pacific Electric Red Car lines that used to criss-cross Los Angeles and ended in Long Beach, Pacific City ceded enormous power to railroad magnate Henry E. Huntington, and thus became a city whose name has been written into corporate sponsorship, and like much of the history of Southern California, boosterism.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Huntington Beach CA
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is crucial 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 alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately two years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Huntington Beach CA.
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