How to Pick a Dental Hygienist School near Russellville Arkansas
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Russellville AR is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider as well, such as the college’s accreditation and reputation. 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 accomplish. Naturally with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Russellville AR dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing 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 examinations. Once they have fulfilled 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
Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Russellville AR dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist program may be a good option for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your Russellville AR home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Russellville AR, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for several online options also. Even though these may be significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify 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 instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Russellville AR employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in offers 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, confirm that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Russellville AR dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal means to get hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need assistance landing their first job. Check if the programs you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Russellville AR dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate setting for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Russellville AR dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial 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 examining the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Russellville AR area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Russellville AR at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, 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 Russellville AR?
Russellville is the county seat and largest city in Pope County, Arkansas, United States, with a population of 27,920, according to the 2010 Census. It is home to Arkansas Tech University and Arkansas Nuclear One, Arkansas' only nuclear power plant. Russellville borders Lake Dardanelle and the Arkansas River.
Before the town was named Russellville, it was known as Chactas Prairie, The Prairie, or Cactus Flats. In the early 19th century, Osage from Missouri hunted frequently in the valley where Russellville is located. Between 1818 and 1828, the area was within a Cherokee reservation, but after 1828 the Cherokee were removed to Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), and the land became available for white settlement. The first settler in the area was P.C. Holledger in 1834.
One year later, Dr. Thomas Russell bought Holledger's house. The first business to be established in the town was owned by Mr. Shinn, who later built a masonry structure to replace his wooden store in 1875. This building still exists today, and is known as the Shinn Building. It was built at the intersection of an east-west road from Little Rock to Fort Smith and a north-south buffalo trail to a ford on the Arkansas River. Early travelers used these established trails to pass through the valley. When the town's residents decided to name the town, it came down to two choices: Shinnville or Russellville, and Russellville won.
As with the war with Mexico in the 1840s, many men of Russellville served in the state’s military forces during the American Civil War. Local men served in the state forces early in the war, with many transferring to Confederate regiments by 1862. Several local men were also formed into at least two pro-Union companies. No great battles occurred in or near Russellville, though actions did take place late in the war at nearby Dardanelle (Yell County). While the war came to an official end in 1865, peace did not immediately return to the area. Many areas of Pope County were disrupted in the early 1870s by the bloody and violent events of the Pope County Military War.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Russellville AR
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is crucial if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Russellville AR.
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