How to Select a Dental Hygienist School near Galesburg Illinois
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Galesburg IL is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider as well, for instance the program’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 complete. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these factors and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Galesburg IL practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Galesburg IL dental practices 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 nearly 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 practical component to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Choosing an online dental hygienist college can be a viable option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Galesburg IL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the right option for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Galesburg IL, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online options as well. Even though these are significant initial points to consider, there are several 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 ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost 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. Galesburg IL employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Galesburg IL dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal way to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the Galesburg IL dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs need assistance getting their first job. Find out if the programs you are researching 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 Galesburg IL dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the schools you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal atmosphere 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 practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Galesburg IL dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Galesburg IL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Galesburg IL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Galesburg IL?
Galesburg is a city in Knox County, Illinois, United States. This city is forty-five miles northwest of Peoria. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 32,195. It is the county seat of Knox County. Galesburg is home to Knox College, a private four-year liberal arts college, and Carl Sandburg College, a two-year community college.
Galesburg was founded by George Washington Gale, a Presbyterian minister from New York state who dreamed of establishing a manual labor college (which became Knox College). A committee from New York purchased 17 acres (0.069 km2; 0.027 sq mi) in Knox County in 1835, and the first 25 settlers arrived in 1836. They built temporary cabins in Log City near current Lake Storey, just north of Galesburg, having decided that no log cabins were to be built inside the town limits.
Galesburg was home to the first anti-slavery society in Illinois, founded in 1837, and was a stop on the Underground Railroad. The city was the site of the fifth Lincoln-Douglas debate, on a temporary speaker's platform attached to Knox College's Old Main building on October 7, 1858. Knox College continues to maintain and use Old Main to this day. An Underground Railroad Museum and Lincoln-Douglas Debate Museum were built in Knox College's Alumni Hall after it had finished renovations.
Galesburg was the home of Mary Ann "Mother" Bickerdyke, who provided hospital care for Union soldiers during the American Civil War. After the Civil War, Galesburg was the birthplace of poet, author, and historian Carl Sandburg, poet and artist Dorothea Tanning, and former Major League Baseball star Jim Sundberg. Carl Sandburg's boyhood home is now operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency as the Carl Sandburg State Historic Site. The site contains the cottage Sandburg was born in, a modern museum, the rock under which he and his wife Lilian are buried, and a performance venue.
Find the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Galesburg IL
Picking the ideal dental hygienist course is important if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives available to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately two years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to 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 ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Galesburg IL.
More Great Cities in Illinois