How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Program near Covington Georgia
Choosing the right dental hygienist program near Covington GA is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, such as the college’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 prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Covington GA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results 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 hygiene
- 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 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 deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Covington GA dental practices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 component to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist school might be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Covington GA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting 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 required to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Covington GA, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they search for some online options as well. Even though these are significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite 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 instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Covington GA employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an important component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind 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 school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Covington GA dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to receive 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 build professional relationships in the Covington GA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Covington GA dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Ask the schools you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Covington GA dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Covington GA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Covington GA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Covington GA?
Covington was founded by European immigrants to the United States. It was incorporated in 1822 as the seat of the newly organized Newton County. Covington was named for United States Army Brigadier General and United States Congressman Leonard Covington, a hero of the War of 1812. The settlement grew with the advent of the railroad in 1845. Covington incorporated as a city in 1854.
The Covington Historic District and the North Covington Historic District within the city are both listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The maps and materials describing these two districts are available for review through City Hall. The Covington Historic District contains Floyd Street and the downtown square. The North Covington Historic District contains North Emory Street and Odum Street as its hub. Both districts have an ordinance to preserve their character, regulating changes proposed for properties, and special permits may be required.
The Covington Mill Village is also a vital part of local history. The Starrsville Historic District, site of the historic settlement of Starrsville, is in the exurban area around Covington. The Newton County Courthouse, brick store, and Salem campground are separately NRHP-listed.
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,547 people, 4,261 households, and 2,906 families residing in the city. The population density was 839.2 people per square mile (324.0/km²). There were 4,542 housing units at an average density of 330.1 per square mile (127.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 51.55% White, 45.54% black, 0.18% Native American, 0.55% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.94% from other races, and 1.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.87% of the population.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Covington GA
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is important 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 several options offered to acquire your training 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, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately two years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Covington GA.
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