How to Choose a Dental Hygienist College near Chickamauga Georgia
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist college near Chickamauga GA is an important initial step toward beginning 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 performing your due diligence than choosing the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, including the college’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 two to three years to finish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing 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 contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Chickamauga GA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums 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 plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Chickamauga GA dental offices are often 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 virtually 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| Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Selecting an online dental hygienist college may be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Chickamauga GA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Chickamauga GA, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online alternatives also. Even though these are important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Chickamauga GA employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Chickamauga GA dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real 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 too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require help obtaining their first job. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Chickamauga GA dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the schools you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Chickamauga GA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost based 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 public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Chickamauga GA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Chickamauga GA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Chickamauga GA?
Before the 1800s, the Chickamauga-Cherokee settled around Chickamauga Creek, where they farmed and hunted the lands. They stayed there until their forced exodus during the Trail of Tears (1838). In the early to mid-19th century, the present town of Chickamauga was a large plantation in the rolling hills of north Georgia. When the Cherokee Nation was divided into districts and courts in 1820, Crawfish Springs was made the capital of the new Chickamauga District. After the Cherokee removal, the first court in Walker County was held there in the former Cherokee courthouse. The local post office was Crawfish Springs.
During the War of 1812, 500 Cherokee warriors from the area fought alongside General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, against the Creek Indians, who were aligned with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. The battle ended in a victory for the Americans.
The Lee and Gordon families greatly influenced Chickamauga's post-Cherokee history. In 1836 Gwinnett County native James Gordon established a plantation at Crawfish Springs and built a grist mill two miles east of town, on Chickamauga Creek. Lee and Gordon's Mill, which contained the area's first general store, was situated near a blacksmith shop and stagecoach stop. From 1840 to 1847, Gordon built his Doric-columned brick house (known today as the Gordon-Lee Mansion), which overlooks Crawfish Springs.
The area was settled by many other farm families and life was busy and fruitful in the fertile valleys, until even this remote part of the South was visited by the sounds of cannon and guns during the American Civil War. The Battle of Chickamauga, named for nearby Chickamauga Creek, was fought on September 19–20, 1863. It involved more than 150,000 soldiers of the Northern and Southern armies. Before the battle, Union Gen. William Rosecrans put his headquarters at the Gordon Lee Mansion. During the battle, wounded and injured soldiers were cared for in the home and nearby buildings. Many Union doctors remained behind to care for their patients after the Southern victory. Parched soldiers of both sides drank from the town's namesake springs.
Find the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Chickamauga GA
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Chickamauga GA.
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