How to Select a Dental Hygienist Program near Harlem Georgia
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near Harlem GA is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to consider also, for instance 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 two to three years to complete. Obviously with the longer 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 programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties 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 assists the Harlem GA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 licensing examinations. After 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 Education Options
Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Harlem GA dental practices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require 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 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 aspect to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school may be a good option for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Harlem GA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the right option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Harlem GA, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives also. Even though these are relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College 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 prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, 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. Harlem GA employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist schools have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Harlem GA dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the Harlem GA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the programs you are considering 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 Harlem GA dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the programs you are interested in how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Harlem GA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Harlem GA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Harlem GA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Harlem GA?
Harlem is a city in Columbia County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Augusta, Georgia metropolitan area. The population was 2,666 at the 2010 census, up from 1,814 in 2000. Harlem is the birthplace of comedian Oliver Hardy; the annual Harlem Oliver Hardy Festival is held on the first Saturday each October on Main Street in his honor.
From the building of the Georgia Railroad which passes through town until at least the 1860s, Harlem was known as Saw Dust. The town is twinned with Ulverston in England, the birthplace of Stan Laurel, the partner of Oliver Hardy.
Harlem is located in southern Columbia County at 33°25′1″N 82°18′50″W / 33.41694°N 82.31389°W / 33.41694; -82.31389 (33.416822, -82.313762), with its western boundary following the McDuffie County line. U.S. Routes 78 and 278 pass through the center of town, leading east 23 miles (37 km) to downtown Augusta and west 12 miles (19 km) to Thomson. U.S. Route 221 crosses US 78/278 in the center of town, leading north 5 miles (8 km) to Interstate 20 and 21 miles (34 km) to the South Carolina border, and south 16 miles (26 km) to Wrens.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,814 people, 704 households, and 506 families residing in the city. The population density was 719.9 people per square mile (277.9/km²). There were 763 housing units at an average density of 302.8 per square mile (116.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 70.95% White, 25.41% African American, 0.33% Native American, 0.88% Asian, 1.10% from other races, and 1.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.26% of the population.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist College near Harlem GA
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist course is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly two years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Harlem GA.
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