How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near West Memphis Arkansas
Picking the right dental hygienist school near West Memphis AR is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, for instance the program’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 finish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the West Memphis AR practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in West Memphis AR dental practices are usually required to hold 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 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 practical component to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Choosing an online dental hygienist school can be a good alternative for receiving your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the convenience of your West Memphis AR home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical 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 online dental hygienist school is the ideal choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in West Memphis AR, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for several online options as well. Although these may be significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition 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 ensure that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. West Memphis AR employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist programs have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local West Memphis AR dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective method to receive 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 form professional relationships in the West Memphis AR dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools require help getting their first job. Check if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the West Memphis AR dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Find out from the colleges you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the West Memphis AR dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the West Memphis AR area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and must go to classes near West Memphis AR at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, 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 because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near West Memphis AR?
West Memphis, Arkansas
West Memphis is the largest city in Crittenden County, Arkansas, United States. The population was 26,245 at the 2010 census, ranking it as the state's 18th largest city, behind Bella Vista. It is part of the Memphis metropolitan area, and is located directly across the Mississippi River from Memphis.
Native Americans lived in the Mississippi River Valley for at least 10,000 years, although much of the evidence of their presence has been buried or destroyed. The Indians of the Mississippian Period were the last native inhabitants of the West Memphis area. Mound City Road, located within the eastern portion of the West Memphis city limits, has a marker indicating that the villages of Aquixo (Aquijo) or Pacaha were in the area. Several mounds are still visible.
Explorers from both Spain and France visited the area near West Memphis. Among those explorers were Hernando de Soto and his men from Spain and Father Jacques Marquette and Louis Jolliet from France. By the time French hunters and explorers entered the region, the Mississippian towns and other settlements had been abandoned. The original site of West Memphis came from Spanish land grants issued during the 1790s. Grants were given to Benjamin Fooy, John Henry Fooy, and Isaac Fooy in the Hopefield (Crittenden County) area and to William McKenney in the Bridgeport-West Memphis area.
In the summer of 1541, Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto crossed the Mississippi River into what is now Crittenden County with an army of over 300 conquistadors and almost as many captured Native American slaves. The Spanish found the land to be the most densely populated that they had seen since starting their journey on the Florida coast, two years earlier. The Spanish expedition departed Arkansas two years later, leaving behind numerous Old World diseases. It was 130 years before Europeans visited this region again. The French expedition of Joliet and Marquette in 1673 found none of the towns or people that the Spanish had documented; all that remained were the many mounds that still dot the landscape along the rivers and creeks. The original inhabitants, like the later settlers, were drawn to this region because of its fertile river bottom soil, abundant game, and thick forest.
Find the Best Dental Hygienist Program near West Memphis AR
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist course is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically earn 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 decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in West Memphis AR.
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