How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Marion Arkansas
Choosing the right dental hygienist program near Marion AR is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Marion AR dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient sees 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. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 Exam as well as any state licensing examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are considered 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 working in Marion AR dental practices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete 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 component to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college might be a good option for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Marion AR home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the right option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Marion AR, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these may be important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Marion AR employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist schools have associations with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind 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 college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Marion AR dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the Marion AR dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need assistance getting their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Marion AR dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Check with the colleges you are evaluating how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Marion AR dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Marion AR area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near Marion AR at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Marion AR?
Marion is a city in and the county seat of Crittenden County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 12,345 at the 2010 census, a 38.7% increase since 2000. The city is part of the Memphis metropolitan area. It is the second largest city in Crittenden County, behind West Memphis.
Although Marion was incorporated in 1896, the community predates that significantly. The site of Marion was part of Louisiana (New Spain) from 1764 to 1803, when it became Louisiana (New France). Some of the oldest land titles in the area are from Spanish land grants from a time prior to the Louisiana Purchase. After the Louisiana Purchase the area was part of the Arkansas Territory. During the 1830s the Trail of Tears, the forced removal of Native Americans from Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, passed through the area. Its location is close to where the Sultana Steamboat exploded and sunk. A memorial is placed on the city hall square to remember those lost in the accident
Marion, AR was named after Marion Tolbert. In 1837 two commissioners had been appointed by the county court to select a site for a new county seat. Tolbert and his wife Temperance gave a deed to the commissioners "for the county of Crittenden for county purposes" on June 25, 1837. A town was laid out, named Marion in honor of Marion Tolbert and was made the county seat of Crittenden County, AR. Marion has been incorporated on multiple occasions, first in 1851. The current incorporation dates from 1896.
During the American Civil War the steamboat Sultana was destroyed in an explosion on April 27, 1865, as it was transporting released Union POWs near Mound City, just east of Marion. It is estimated that 1,500 soldiers and crew were killed, the largest loss of life in a maritime accident in US history. This tragedy is commemorated by a historic marker placed by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist College near Marion AR
Picking the right 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 numerous alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly 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 programs normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Marion AR.
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