How to Pick a Dental Hygienist School near Highlands New Jersey
Choosing the right dental hygienist program near Highlands NJ is an essential first 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 selecting the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, including the school’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 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Highlands NJ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting 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 area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also 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 and developing X-rays
- 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 Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. When they have completed 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 additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Highlands NJ dental practices are generally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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 component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist college might be a viable alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Highlands NJ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be performed 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 furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the ideal option for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Highlands NJ, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for several online alternatives also. Although these are important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost 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 ensure that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Highlands NJ employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Highlands NJ dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to obtain 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 establish professional relationships in the Highlands NJ dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? 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 probably have excellent reputations within the Highlands NJ dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the programs you are interested in how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Highlands NJ dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Highlands NJ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near Highlands NJ 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 need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Highlands NJ?
Highlands, New Jersey
Highlands is a borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 5,005, reflecting a decline of 92 (-1.8%) from the 5,097 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 248 (+5.1%) from the 4,849 counted in the 1990 Census. It is the home town of film maker, director, and comic book writer Kevin Smith. The eastern part of the town is built on a high bluff that overlooks Sandy Hook and the Atlantic Ocean, from which the borough derives its name. Atop this bluff are the Navesink Twin Lights.
Highlands was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 22, 1900, from portions of Middletown Township. Additional portions of Middletown Township were annexed in 1914.
Highlands is part of the Bayshore Regional Strategic Plan, an effort by nine municipalities in northern Monmouth County to reinvigorate the area's economy by emphasizing the traditional downtowns, residential neighborhoods, maritime history, and the natural environment of the Raritan Bayshore coastline.
On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck the eastern seaboard of the United States, making landfall just north of Atlantic City. The Borough was heavily damaged when a storm surge of nearly 10 feet (3.0 m) swept in from the bay beginning as early as October 28. Most homes and businesses, including the Bahrs Landing and Lusty Lobster fishery were either damaged or totally destroyed. The borough lost several police cars and their fire station was destroyed.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Highlands NJ
Picking the ideal dental hygienist course is crucial if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Highlands NJ.
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