How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist School near Fitzgerald Georgia
Selecting the right dental hygienist program near Fitzgerald GA is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider as well, for instance 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 two to three years to finish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Duties 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 Fitzgerald GA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed 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 employed in Fitzgerald GA dental offices are generally required to hold 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 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 sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist program can be a good alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Fitzgerald GA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Fitzgerald GA, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives as well. Even though these may be important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school 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. Fitzgerald GA employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Fitzgerald GA dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective way to get hands-on, clinical 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 establish professional relationships in the Fitzgerald GA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Fitzgerald GA dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the schools you are evaluating how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Fitzgerald GA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the amount 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 depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools 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 costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Fitzgerald GA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near Fitzgerald GA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Fitzgerald GA?
The city of Fitzgerald is the county seat of Ben Hill County in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, it had a population of 9,053. It is the principal city of the Fitzgerald Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Ben Hill and Irwin counties.
Fitzgerald was developed in 1895 by Philander H. Fitzgerald, an Indianapolis newspaper editor and a former drummer boy in the Union Army, who founded it as a community for Civil War veterans – both from the Union and from the Confederacy. The majority of the first citizens (some 2700) were Union veterans. It was incorporated on December 2, 1896. The town is located less than 15 miles (24 km) from the site of the capture of Confederate president Jefferson Davis on May 10, 1865.
Fitzgerald is one of the few truly planned cities in the United States. The city was laid out as a square, with intersecting streets dividing it into four wards. Each of the wards was divided into four blocks and each block had sixteen squares. The first two streets running North/South on the east side of the city are named after Confederate generals Lee and Johnston, whereas the first two on the west side were named after Union generals Grant and Sherman.
After about a year, the citizens planned a Thanksgiving harvest parade. Separate Union and Confederate parades were planned. However, when the band struck up to play, the Confederates joined the Union veterans to march as one beneath the US flag.
Find the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Fitzgerald GA
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many options offered to receive 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 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 obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided 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 Fitzgerald GA.
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