How to Pick a Dental Hygienist School near Imperial California
Choosing the right dental hygienist school near Imperial CA is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the training with the least expensive 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 school’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Imperial CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. When 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 Training Options
As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Imperial 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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 practical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Selecting an online dental hygienist school might be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Imperial CA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be completed 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 discipline for this mode of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Imperial CA, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for several online alternatives also. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should address to the colleges 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 right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Imperial CA employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have associations with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Imperial CA dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the Imperial CA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools require assistance getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Imperial CA dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the colleges you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Imperial CA dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private 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 textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Imperial CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Imperial CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, 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 due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Imperial CA?
Imperial is a city in Imperial County, California. Imperial is located 4 miles (6.4 km) north of El Centro. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 14,758. It is part of the El Centro metropolitan area. Nearby recreation facilities transform the desert into a popular Valley tourist destination due to availability of activities. Three year-round golf courses are within minutes of Imperial. The sand dunes provide a place for campers and dune buggy enthusiasts. This region is well known for its abundance of bird species such as dove, quail, ducks, pheasant and geese.
Imperial has an arid desert climate, and is one of the hottest cities in the United States. Imperial averages just about 3 inches of rain annually, most of it falling in December. The North American Monsoon typically increases the humidity from July through September. At times, the climate can resemble that of tropical areas in the Caribbean. This leads to Daily thunderstorms that can bring hail, downpours, lightning, and dust storms more commonly known as Haboob. During the Eastern Pacific hurricane season, hurricanes occasionally track up the Baja California Peninsula and bring remnants of Tropical Storms through the desert that can result in flash flooding and heavy widespread thunderstorms. This can lead to significantly higher than normal precipitation, at times bringing 2-4 inches of rain in short periods of time. The precipitation in the Winter months is predominantly rain showers from the occasional winter storms. At times these storms bring cold temperatures to Imperial and surrounding cities, and mountain snowfall to the nearby Mountains. Snow is almost totally unknown in the city, except for a powerful winter storm that covered the entire valley with 4 inches snow on December 12, 1934 and a very brief fall of sleet mixed with hail during a shower in December 1967. On average there are about 11 days that dip into the mid to lower 30's. In January, the normal high temperature is 67 degrees with a low of 39. In July, the normal high temperature is 105 degrees with a low of 77.
Imperial was created by the Imperial Land Company and was named by George Chaffey. The first post office at Imperial opened in 1901. Imperial incorporated in 1904. The first Mayor of Imperial was Allison Peck.
The 2010 United States Census reported that Imperial had a population of 14,758. The population density was 2,519.9 people per square mile (973.0/km²). The racial makeup of Imperial was 9,298 (63.0%) White, 331 (2.2%) African American, 154 (1.0%) Native American, 370 (2.5%) Asian, 13 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 3,783 (25.6%) from other races, and 809 (5.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11,046 persons (74.8%).
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist College near Imperial CA
Choosing the right dental hygienist program is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly two years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Imperial CA.
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