How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Training Program near North Hollywood California
Choosing the right dental hygienist college near North Hollywood CA is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account also, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these considerations and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the North Hollywood CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in North Hollywood CA dental offices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take 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 component to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist college can be a great option for receiving your education. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your North Hollywood CA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education much more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the right choice for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in North Hollywood CA, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program 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. North Hollywood CA employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist schools have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local North Hollywood CA dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools need assistance getting their first job. Check if the colleges you are considering 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 North Hollywood CA dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Find out from the schools you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the North Hollywood CA dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 programs, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the North Hollywood CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must attend classes near North Hollywood CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near North Hollywood CA?
North Hollywood, Los Angeles
North Hollywood is a neighborhood in the east San Fernando Valley region of the city of Los Angeles. It is home to the NoHo Arts District and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, and it has seven public and eight private schools.
The 2000 U.S. census counted 77,848 residents in the 5.87-square-mile North Hollywood neighborhood—or 13,264 people per square mile, about an average population density for the city but among the highest for the county. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 87,241. In 2000 the median age for residents was 30, considered an average age for city and county neighborhoods; the percentage of residents aged 19 to 34 was among the county's highest.
The neighborhood was considered "moderately diverse" ethnically within Los Angeles. The breakdown was Latinos, 57.7%; whites, 27%; Asians, 5.7%; blacks, 5.6%; and others, 4%. Mexico (43.2%) and El Salvador (16%) were the most common places of birth for the 46.4% of the residents who were born abroad—a high percentage for Los Angeles. The percentages of never-married men and never-married women were among the county's highest.
The median yearly household income in 2008 dollars was $42,791, considered average for the city but low for the county. The percentages of households that earned $40,000 or less were high for the county. Renters occupied 75.4% of the housing stock, and house- or apartment-owners held 24.6%.
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist School near North Hollywood CA
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives offered to receive 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 junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in North Hollywood CA.
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