How to Select a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Pittsburg California
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Pittsburg CA is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account as well, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job 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 Pittsburg CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 licensure examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Pittsburg 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 nearly every state. They are offered in trade and technical schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist school can be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Pittsburg CA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can usually be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Pittsburg CA, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for several online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the schools you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Pittsburg CA employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Pittsburg CA dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are considering have an internship program. Internships are probably the best way to get hands-on, clinical 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 create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Pittsburg CA dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the programs you are evaluating how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Pittsburg CA dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost dependent on the duration 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 come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant 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 comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Pittsburg CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Pittsburg CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Pittsburg CA?
Pittsburg is an industrial city in Contra Costa County, California. The population was 63,264 at the 2010 census. It is located on the southern shore of the Suisun Bay in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area.
In 1849, Colonel Jonathan D. Stevenson (from New York) bought the Rancho Los Medanos land grant, and laid out a town he called New York of the Pacific. By 1850, this venture failed. With the discovery of coal in the nearby town of Nortonville, the place became a port for coaling, and adopted the name Black Diamond, after the mining firm that built the Black Diamond Coal Mining Railroad from there to Nortonville. Because of the industrial potential of the site, a name change to Pittsburg was proposed in 1909.
Pittsburg, originally settled in 1839, was called first "New York Landing", then "Black Diamond", before citizens voted on "Pittsburg" on February 11, 1911. The name was selected to honor Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as the two cities' shared a common steel and mining industrial heritage. However, from 1891 to July 1911, Pittsburgh, PA was officially known as "Pittsburg", following a country-wide standardization of geographical names by the United States Board on Geographic Names. Hence, in February 1911, when Pittsburg, CA adopted its name, the 'h' was absent from its namesake city. Five months later (July 1911), after an appeals process lasting almost two decades, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania won a rare reversal and the 'h' was restored to the city's official name, which persists to this day, resulting in the spelling difference.
In 1910, Columbia Steel opened its California steel plant in Pittsburg with one foundry and a crew of 60 employees. It made steel castings for the dredging, lumber and shipping industries. In 1930, Columbia became a subsidiary of U.S. Steel Company. The plant continued to grow until the early 1950s, reaching a peak staff of 5,200 employees. when the markets for its products crashed. The parent company (by 1986, renamed as USS Company) had merged with Korean Pohang Iron and Steel Company. Together they invested $450 million turning the Pittsburg plant into a modern flat-products mill, renamed as USS-Posco. As of 1999, the facility employed 970 workers and shipped over 1.6 million U.S. tons per year of steel to over 175 customers in the Western U. S., Mexico, Canada and the Pacific Rim.
Select the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Pittsburg CA
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is crucial if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning 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 best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Pittsburg CA.
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