How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Middletown New Jersey
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near Middletown NJ is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, for instance the school’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Middletown NJ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- 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 have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Middletown NJ dental offices are generally 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 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| Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Classes
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program can be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Middletown NJ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary 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 clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the ideal choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Middletown NJ, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online alternatives as well. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program 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. Middletown NJ employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have associations with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select provides enough 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, check that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Middletown NJ dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the best means 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 look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools need assistance getting their first job. Check if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Middletown NJ dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Check with the colleges you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Middletown NJ dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Middletown NJ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near Middletown NJ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Middletown NJ?
Middletown Township, New Jersey
Middletown Township is a township in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township had a total population of 66,522, making it the state's 16th largest municipality, having seen an increase of 195 residents (0.3%) from its population of 66,327 in the 2000 Census, when it was the state's 17th most populous municipality, which had in turn declined by 1,856 (−2.7%) from the 68,183 counted in the 1990 Census. Middletown is one of the oldest sites of European settlement in New Jersey.
Due to its affluence, low crime, access to cultural activities, public school system, and central commuting location, Middletown was ranked in 2006, 2008, and 2010, and 2014 Top 100 in CNNMoney.com's Best Places to Live.Time magazine listed Middletown on its list of "Best Places to Live 2014".
Small communities of the Lenape Navesink tribe were common throughout the area when the first known European landing in what would become Middletown Township occurred in 1609. Sea captain and explorer Henry Hudson, in search of the mythical Northwest Passage in the service of the Dutch West India Company, anchored along the shores of Sandy Hook Bay in 1609, describing the area "a very good land to fall in with and a pleasant land to see." While a patroonship was granted by the company in 1651 the land wasn't officially settled. Today's Shoal Harbor Museum and Old Spy House includes portions of a house constructed by Thomas Whitlock, one of the area's first European settlers (and a Reformed Baptist at Middletown) who arrived here as early as 1664, before the English conquest of New Netherland began in 1665 as part of the Second Anglo-Dutch War. Long-standing tradition had Penelope Stout, one of the first settlers, hiding in a tree from hostile Native Americans.
Shortly after the Dutch surrender of the New Netherland to the English in 1664 a large tract of land known as the Navesink Patent or Monmouth Tract was granted to Baptist and Quaker settlers from Long Island, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, which soon thereafter became the townships of Middletown and Shrewsbury.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Middletown NJ
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose 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 commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Middletown NJ.
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