How to Select a Dental Hygienist Program near Wailuku Hawaii
Picking the right dental hygienist school near Wailuku HI is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to assess 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 college that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to consider as well, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Wailuku HI dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 Exam as well as any state licensing examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Wailuku HI dental offices are usually required to have 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 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 clinical aspect to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Choosing an online dental hygienist school might be a great option 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 accessible by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Wailuku HI home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental office 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 dental hygienist online college is the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Wailuku HI, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives as well. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of 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 requirement in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Wailuku HI employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Wailuku HI dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best way 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 Wailuku HI dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs need help obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Wailuku HI dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the schools you are evaluating how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Wailuku HI dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial 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, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Wailuku HI area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Wailuku HI at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Wailuku HI?
Wailuku is located just west of Kahului, at the mouth of the ʻĪao Valley. In the early 20th century Wailuku was the main tourist destination on Maui, though it has since been eclipsed with the rise of the resort towns such as Kaʻanapali, so much that there are no hotels to speak of in Wailuku.
Historic sites in the town include Kaʻahumanu Church (named after one of Hawaiʻi's great monarchs, Queen Kaʻahumanu) which dates to 1876, the Wailuku Civic Center Historic District, the site of the Chee Kung Tong Society Building, and the Bailey House, a 19th-century former seminary and home that houses a history museum and the Maui Historical Society.
There are two ancient temples near Wailuku, called heiau — the Halekiʻi Heiau and the Pihanakalani Heiau. Both date back hundreds of years and were used for religious purposes by the native Hawaiians.
Wailuku is located at 20°53′31″N 156°30′8″W / 20.89194°N 156.50222°W / 20.89194; -156.50222 (20.891923, -156.502177) between the CDPs of Waihee-Waiehu to the north, Kahului to the east, and Waikapu to the south.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Wailuku HI
Picking the right dental hygienist program is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to receive your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Wailuku HI.
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