How to Select a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Elizabeth New Jersey
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist college near Elizabeth NJ is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, including the school’s reputation and accreditation. 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 complete. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Elizabeth NJ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- 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 examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Elizabeth NJ dental offices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are offered in trade and technical schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Classes
Selecting an online dental hygienist college might be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Elizabeth NJ home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Elizabeth NJ, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online options also. Although these are important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the schools you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Elizabeth NJ employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist schools have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Elizabeth NJ dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best method to receive hands-on, clinical 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 form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need assistance landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are looking at 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 Elizabeth NJ dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the colleges you are evaluating how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Elizabeth NJ dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs 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 analyzing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Elizabeth NJ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Elizabeth NJ at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Elizabeth NJ?
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Elizabeth is both the largest city and the county seat of Union County, in New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a total population of 124,969, retaining its ranking as New Jersey's fourth largest city (by population). The population increased by 4,401 (3.7%) from the 120,568 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 10,566 (+9.6%) from the 110,002 counted in the 1990 Census. For 2015, the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program calculated a population of 129,007, an increase of 3.2% from the 2010 enumeration, ranking the city the 210th largest in the nation.
Elizabeth, originally called "Elizabethtown" and part of the Elizabethtown Tract, was founded in 1664 by English settlers. The town was not named for Queen Elizabeth I as many people may assume, but rather for Elizabeth, wife of Sir George Carteret, one of the two original Proprietors of the colony of New Jersey. She was the daughter of Philippe de Carteret II, 3rd Seigneur de Sark and Anne Dowse. The town served as the first capital of New Jersey. During the American Revolutionary War, Elizabethtown was continually attacked by British forces based on Manhattan and Staten Island, culminating in the Battle of Springfield which decisively defeated British attempts to gain New Jersey. After independence, it was from Elizabethtown that George Washington embarked by boat to Manhattan for his 1789 inauguration. There are numerous memorials and monuments of the American Revolution in Elizabeth.
On March 13, 1855, the City of Elizabeth was created by an act of the New Jersey Legislature, combining and replacing both Elizabeth Borough (which dated back to 1740) and Elizabeth Township (which had been formed in 1693), subject to the results of a referendum held on March 27, 1855. On March 19, 1857, the city became part of the newly created Union County. Portions of the city were taken to form Linden Township on March 4, 1861.
The first major industry, the Singer Sewing Machine Company came to Elizabeth and employed as many as 2,000 people. In 1895, it saw one of the first car companies, when Electric Carriage and Wagon Company was founded to manufacture the Electrobat, joined soon by another electric car builder, Andrew L. Riker. The Electric Boat Company got its start building submarines for the United States Navy in Elizabeth, New Jersey, beginning with the launch of USS Holland (SS-1) in 1897. These pioneering naval craft [known as A-Class] were developed at Lewis Nixon's Crescent Shipyard in Elizabeth between the years 1896–1903. Elizabeth grew in parallel to its sister city of Newark for many years, but has been more successful in retaining a middle-class presence and was mostly spared riots in the 1960s.
Select the Right Dental Hygienist College near Elizabeth NJ
Picking the right dental hygienist program is important if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options available to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount 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 schools typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend 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 ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Elizabeth NJ.
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