How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Program near Calistoga California
Picking the ideal dental hygienist school near Calistoga CA is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, such as the college’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 accomplish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors 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 available.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job 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 in support of the Calistoga CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are deemed 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 as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Calistoga CA dental offices are often 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 finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are offered in trade and vocational schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a clinical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist program might be a good option for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Calistoga CA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the right option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Calistoga CA, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online alternatives as well. Although these are significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly 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 guarantee that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Calistoga CA employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select offers adequate 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 college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Calistoga CA dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the best way to get 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 build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs need help landing their first job. Check if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Calistoga CA dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Check with the programs you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Calistoga CA dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Calistoga CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Calistoga CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Calistoga CA?
The Upper Napa Valley was once the home of a significant population of Indigenous People, called the Wappo during the Spanish colonial era of the late 18th century. With abundant oak trees providing acorns as a food staple and the natural hot springs as a healing ground Calistoga (Wappo: Nilektsonoma, "Chicken Hawk Place") was the site of several villages. Following Mexican Independence, mission properties were secularized and disposed of by the Mexican government with much of the Napa Valley being partitioned into large ranchos in the 1830s and 1840s. The first Anglo settlers began arriving in the 1840s, with several taking up lands in the Calistoga area.
Samuel Brannan was the leader of a settlement expedition on the ship Brooklyn landing in Yerba Buena (San Francisco) in 1846. He published San Francisco's first English language newspaper, the California Star. Following the discovery of gold in Coloma, Brannan pursued many business ventures, which made him California’s first millionaire and became a leader in San Francisco's Committee of Vigilance. Fascinated by Calistoga’s natural hot springs, Brannan purchased more than 2,000 acres (8 km2) with the intent to develop a spa reminiscent of Saratoga Springs in New York. He is said to have intended to say "I'll make this place the Saratoga of California," but to have in fact said "the Calistoga of Sarifornia". His Hot Springs Resort surrounding Mt Lincoln with the Spa/Hotel located at what is now Indian Springs Resort, opened to California's rich and famous in 1862. In 1868 Brannan's Napa Valley Railroad Company's track was completed to Calistoga. This provided an easier travel option for ferry passengers making the journey from San Francisco. With the addition of railroad service, Calistoga became not only a destination, but also the transportation hub for the upper valley and a gateway to Lake and Sonoma Counties. A 6-meter diorama of this early Calistoga can be seen in the Sharpsteen Museum.
Calistoga's economy was based on mining (silver and mercury) agriculture (grapes, prunes and walnuts) and tourism (the hot springs). One of the early visitors was Robert Louis Stevenson. Yet to write his great novels, he had just married Fanny Vandegrift in San Francisco in May 1880, and the couple honeymooned at the Calistoga Hot Springs Hotel days later. Desiring to stay in the area, they moved from the hotel to an abandoned cabin at the nearby Silverado Mine on Mount Saint Helena. While working on other stories Stevenson kept a journal which became the Silverado Squatters describing many local features, residents and characters.
Calistoga made national headlines in 1881 when Anson Tichenor claimed that he had invented a way to extract gold from the waters of the hot springs. Tichenor's invention was soon proved to be a fraud.
Pick the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Calistoga CA
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is crucial if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively 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 typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to go to 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 ideal choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Calistoga CA.
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