How to Select a Dental Hygienist College near Prescott Arkansas
Selecting the right dental hygienist school near Prescott AR is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to take into account also, including 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 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties 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 on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Prescott AR practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar 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
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated 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 licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Prescott AR dental offices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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| A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist college might be a good option for receiving your education. 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 comfort of your Prescott AR home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Prescott AR, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they search for some online options as well. Even though these are relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Prescott AR employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist programs have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Prescott AR dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental colleges you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the Prescott AR dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need help obtaining their first job. Ask if the colleges 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 Prescott AR dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the programs you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Prescott AR dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant 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 colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Prescott AR area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Prescott AR in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Prescott AR?
Prescott is a city and the county seat of Nevada County, Arkansas, United States. The community had a population of 3,868 at the 2000 census. Prescott is part of the Hope Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Located 100 miles southwest of Little Rock, Prescott was developed on the Prairie D'Âne, named by French colonists before the United States acquired this area. The prairie consisted of approximately 25–30 square miles of rolling open land, surrounded by forest. The area had been a well-known crossroads prior to construction of the Cairo & Fulton Railroad. To the west lies the city of Washington, to the east lies the city of Camden, while to the south lies the Red River, with Shreveport, Texarkana, and Dallas beyond.
As of 2014, Prescott and Nevada County had sixteen properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Elkin's Ferry Battleground and the Prairie D'Ane Battlefield are further recognized as National Historic Landmarks within a National Historic Landmark District.
The city of Prescott was not platted until 1873 during Reconstruction. It was to be a station stop for the Cairo & Fulton Railroad then under construction. The railroad was constructed parallel to the Southwest Trail through northern Nevada County. Prescott was incorporated on October 6, 1874.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist College near Prescott AR
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is imperative if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of 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 training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning 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 in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Prescott AR.
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