How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near Clovis California
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near Clovis CA is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than choosing the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account as well, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are evaluating 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 role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Clovis CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the initial person a patient sees 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 plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure examinations. When 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 Training Options
Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Clovis CA dental practices are often 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 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.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist college might 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 rest of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Clovis CA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive 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 ideal choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Clovis CA, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for some online options as well. Although these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Clovis CA employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important part of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist programs have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Clovis CA dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are considering have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They make it easier for 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 Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the schools 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 Clovis CA dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Check with the programs you are looking at how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Clovis CA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Clovis CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Clovis CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Clovis CA?
Clovis is a city in Fresno County, California, United States. The 2016 population was estimated to be 106,583. Clovis is located 6.5 miles (10.5 km) northeast of downtown Fresno, at an elevation of 361 feet (110 m).
The city of Clovis began as a freight stop along the San Joaquin Valley Railroad. Organized on January 15, 1890, by Fresno businessmen Thomas E. Hughes, Fulton Berry, Gilbert R. Osmun, H.D. Colson, John D. Gray, and William M. Williams, in partnership with Michigan railroad speculator Marcus Pollasky, the SJVRR began construction in Fresno on July 4, 1891, and reached the farmlands of Clovis Cole and George Owen by October of that year. The railroad purchased right-of-way from both farmers, half from each – the east side from Cole and the west side from Owen – and ran tracks up the borderline between the two properties. The railroad agreed to establish a station on the west side of the tracks and to call it "Clovis". The Clovis station, after which the town was named, was positioned on the Owen side of the track.
Cole and Owen later sold land to Marcus Pollasky for development of a townsite. Fresno civil engineer Ingvart Tielman mapped the townsite on behalf of Pollasky on December 29, 1891. The original townsite featured streets named for the officers and principal investors of the railroad: (Benjamin) Woodworth, (Marcus) Pollasky, Fulton (Berry), (Thomas) Hughes, (Gerald) Osmun, and (O. D.) Baron. The townsite, named Clovis by Pollasky, was laid out on what was originally Owen's land.
The railroad was completed as far as the town of Hamptonville (now Friant) on the banks of the San Joaquin River, just 26 miles (42 km) from its point of origin in Fresno. Articles of Incorporation for the San Joaquin Valley Railroad indicate that the corporation intended to build 100 miles of track, including sidings and spurs, through the agricultural acreage east of Fresno, then north to the timber and mineral resources of the Sierra foothills. At the time, Hamptonville was called "Pollasky". A celebration of the completion of track-laying was held at the Pollasky terminus on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving of 1891 with a reported 3,000 Fresnans attending. The railroad began official operation in January 1892.
Pick the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Clovis CA
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of options offered to acquire your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend 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 by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Clovis CA.
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