How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near Statham Georgia
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Statham GA is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, such as 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 more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these issues and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Statham GA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 in addition to passing any state licensing exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Statham GA dental practices are usually 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 trade and vocational 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| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school might be a good option for getting your education. Just remember that the program 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 personal computer in the comfort of your Statham GA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the ideal option for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Statham GA, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for some online alternatives also. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied 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 several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Statham GA employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For 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 Statham GA dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the best means to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require help obtaining their first job. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Statham GA dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the schools you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Statham GA dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Statham GA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Statham GA at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Statham GA?
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.6 square miles (9.3 km2), of which 3.5 square miles (9.1 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2), or 1.08%, is water.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,040 people, 731 households, and 551 families residing in the city. The population density was 577.9 people per square mile (223.1/km²). There were 774 housing units at an average density of 219.3 per square mile (84.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 82.35% White, 14.66% African American, 0.69% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.83% from other races, and 0.93% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.30% of the population.
There were 731 households out of which 38.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.4% were married couples living together, 14.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.6% were non-families. 20.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.13.
In the city, the population was spread out with 27.7% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 33.1% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 11.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.5 males.
Enroll in the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Statham GA
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Statham GA.
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