How to Select a Dental Hygienist College near Jeffersonville Georgia
Selecting the right dental hygienist program near Jeffersonville GA is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, such as the school’s reputation and accreditation. 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 finish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Jeffersonville GA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 Examination as well as any state licensing exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Jeffersonville GA dental practices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish 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| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college might be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Jeffersonville GA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can usually be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the ideal choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Jeffersonville GA, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for several online options also. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly 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 guarantee that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Jeffersonville GA employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Jeffersonville GA dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective means to obtain 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 build professional relationships in the Jeffersonville GA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require help getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at 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 Jeffersonville GA dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the programs you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Jeffersonville GA dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to 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 examining the cost of schools, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Jeffersonville GA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near Jeffersonville 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 addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Jeffersonville GA?
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,209 people, 436 households, and 320 families residing in the city. The population density was 328.8 people per square mile (126.8/km²). There were 496 housing units at an average density of 134.9 per square mile (52.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 36.72% White, 62.37% African American, 0.25% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 0.08% from other races, and 0.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.73% of the population.
There were 436 households out of which 28.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.2% were married couples living together, 23.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.6% were non-families. 23.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.18.
In the city, the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 10.1% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 85.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 82.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,000, and the median income for a family was $37,500. Males had a median income of $29,722 versus $21,042 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,021. About 17.4% of families and 21.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.9% of those under age 18 and 21.2% of those age 65 or over.
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Jeffersonville GA
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is imperative if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives available to receive your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning a degree you can elect 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 right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Jeffersonville GA.
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