How to Select a Dental Hygienist School near Potlatch Idaho
Choosing the right dental hygienist school near Potlatch ID is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to consider also, such as the school’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists typically 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 prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Potlatch ID 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 each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 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, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Potlatch ID dental offices are generally 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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 component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist college might be a good option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Potlatch ID home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the right option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Potlatch ID, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online options also. Even though these are significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost 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 receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Potlatch ID employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist programs have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want 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 Potlatch ID dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to receive 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 develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools need help getting their first job. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Potlatch ID dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the schools you are reviewing how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Potlatch ID 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 enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Potlatch ID area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Potlatch ID in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still need to schedule your clinical 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 emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Potlatch ID?
Potlatch is a city in the northwest United States, located in north central Idaho in Latah County, about six miles (10 km) east of the border with Washington. On the Palouse north of Moscow, it is served by State Highway 6, and bordered on the northeast by the small community of Onaway. The population of Potlatch was 804 at the 2010 census.
Potlatch was founded 113 years ago in 1905 as a company town by the Potlatch Corporation. The townsite was chosen because of proximity to the company's large holdings of Western White Pine on the Palouse River. Potlatch was chosen as the mill site; at the time, it was one of the largest sawmills in the U.S. and was the largest white pine sawmill in the world.
Most of Potlatch was built in 1906 and 1907. A total of 143 houses were built in 1906, with 58 more built the following year; other building constructed during that period include boarding houses, an ice house, a Catholic church, hotel, school, and general store.
The company developed and ran Potlatch on a model mostly patterned after that used by Pullman Company for its company town in Illinois. It provide police and fire protection, a school, churches, a hospital, an inexpensive company store, and recreational amenities. It banned prostitution, prohibited alcohol, and encouraged its workers to marry by allowing only married couples to rent the houses it owned. The paternalism was profitable, even though rents were low: during 1943 the company showed a profit of $59,000 for its "townsite" services. Less than a decade later, with labor costs significantly reducing its townsite profit, the mill sold most of the homes and other buildings it owned, and Potlatch was incorporated.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Potlatch ID
Picking the right dental hygienist course is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options available to acquire your education 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, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Potlatch ID.
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