How to Select a Dental Hygienist College near Fairfield Illinois
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program near Fairfield IL is an important first 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 completing your due diligence than choosing the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other important issues to consider also, for instance 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. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Fairfield IL dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing 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. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Fairfield IL dental offices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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 component to the training as well| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school might be a viable alternative for obtaining your training. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your Fairfield IL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Fairfield IL, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online options as well. Even though these may be significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending 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 school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Fairfield IL employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist programs have associations with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Fairfield IL dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to obtain hands-on, practical 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 create professional relationships in the Fairfield IL dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools need help getting their first job. Check if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Fairfield IL dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the schools you are reviewing how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Fairfield IL dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant 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 analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Fairfield IL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must attend classes near Fairfield IL at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Fairfield IL?
Fairfield is most famous for being the hometown of the "friendly" people, and the Shelton Brothers Gang; notorious bootleggers who fought it out with the Harrisburg, Illinois based Birger Gang to control criminal activities in Southern Illinois. During the first half of the 20th century gang leaders Carl, Earl and Bernie Shelton made Fairfield a household name. Based on testimony of Charlie Birger himself, the Shelton Brothers were convicted for a 1925 unsolved mail carrier robbery of $15,000 and were sentenced to 25 years. They were released a few years later. Birger dominated bootlegging in Southern Illinois until he himself was hanged in Benton for the murder of West City Mayor Joe Adams in 1928. After serving their time, the Shelton brothers built a new criminal empire. Based out of East St Louis, one of the most prosperous cities of its day, they controlled all vice from Peoria and southward.
They met their demise at the hands of the Chicago mob and an insider Charles "Blackie" Harris. A land dispute led to Blackie joining forces with the Mob to kill off members of the Shelton gang. His most notable victim was Carl Shelton, the leader. He was ambushed several miles southeast of Fairfield, shot from his Jeep. Bernie was killed at his Peoria roadhouse. Earl moved to Jacksonville, Florida and became a successful land speculator.
Senator William Borah, the "Lion of Idaho," was born in Fairfield. Fairfield was the hometown of Kenneth Michael Kays, recipient of the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Vietnam War, and Country music singer-songwriter Lance Miller. Carroll C. Boggs, Illinois Supreme Court justice was born in Fairfield. Drue Pearce, Alaska state legislator, was born in Fairfield.
According to the 2010 census, Fairfield has a total area of 4.054 square miles (10.50 km2), of which 4.02 square miles (10.41 km2) (or 99.16%) is land and 0.034 square miles (0.09 km2) (or 0.84%) is water.
Select the Best Dental Hygienist College near Fairfield IL
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives available to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend 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 ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Fairfield IL.
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