How to Pick a Dental Hygienist School near Thomasville Georgia
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Thomasville GA is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists usually 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 longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Thomasville GA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Thomasville GA dental practices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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 practical component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program may be a great alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Thomasville GA home or anywhere else 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 charge lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Thomasville GA, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they search for some online alternatives as well. Although these are significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement 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 establish that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Thomasville GA employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Thomasville GA dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the Thomasville GA dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs need help obtaining their first job. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Thomasville GA dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the schools you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Thomasville GA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Thomasville GA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Thomasville GA at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Thomasville GA?
The city deems itself the City of Roses and holds an annual Rose Festival. The city features plantations open to the public, a historic downtown, a large farmer's market, and a 308-year-old oak tree at the corner of Monroe and Crawford streets. The population was 19,340 at the 2013 United States Census.
In 2016, Thomasville was featured as the second best historic small town on USA Today's 10 Best List Reader's Choice after Bisbee (Arizona) but ahead of Abingdon (Virginia), Mackinac Island (Michigan), and Astoria (Oregon).
Thomasville was founded in 1825 as seat of the newly formed Thomas County. It was incorporated as a town in 1831 and as a city in 1889. The community was named for Jett Thomas, a general in the War of 1812.
Thomasville plants and maintains more than 1,000 roses located throughout the city, as do a number of residents who have their own rose gardens. During the last week of April, rose growers from all over the world display their prize roses for a panel of judges. The Thomasville Rose Garden at Cherokee Lake Park is the largest of 85 rose beds maintained by the city, and is host to the annual rose festival.
Select the Right Dental Hygienist School near Thomasville GA
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is important 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 many alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Thomasville GA.
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