How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Douglas Georgia
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program near Douglas GA is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than choosing the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider also, including the college’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Douglas GA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial 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 also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Douglas GA dental offices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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 clinical component to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist program can be a good alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Douglas GA home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can usually be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the best choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Douglas GA, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online options also. Although these are relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the programs you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost 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. Douglas GA employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist schools have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose provides 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 choose offers clinical rotation in a local Douglas GA dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective means to get 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 professional relationships in the Douglas GA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need assistance landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are researching 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 Douglas GA dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the programs you are evaluating how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Douglas GA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Douglas GA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Douglas GA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Douglas GA?
Douglas is a city in Coffee County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 11,589. Douglas is the county seat of Coffee County and the core city of the Douglas, Georgia Micropolitan Statistical Area, which had a population of 50,731 as of the 2010 census.
Douglas was founded in 1855 as the seat of the newly formed Coffee County. It was named for Senator Stephen A. Douglas from Illinois, a renowned stump speaker who was the challenger to Abraham Lincoln in the presidential election of 1860.
Douglas was chartered as a town in 1895 and as a city in 1897. In 1895, the railroad came to Douglas and the community began to boom. In 1909, the Georgia and Florida Railway located its offices in Douglas.
During the 1920s and 1930s, Douglas was one of the major tobacco markets in the state. Much of this history is depicted in the Heritage Station Museum, located in the former Georgia and Florida Railway train station on Ward Street in downtown Douglas.
Choose the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Douglas GA
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education 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 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Douglas GA.
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