How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Santa Paula California
Choosing the right dental hygienist college near Santa Paula CA is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, including the program’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 finish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Santa Paula CA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may 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 Santa Paula CA dental practices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 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 clinical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Selecting an online dental hygienist college can be a good alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Santa Paula CA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Santa Paula CA, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for several online alternatives also. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost 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 guarantee that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Santa Paula CA employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Santa Paula CA dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective way 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 establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need help obtaining their first job. Ask if the colleges you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Santa Paula CA dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the programs you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Santa Paula CA dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost depending on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Santa Paula CA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Santa Paula CA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Santa Paula CA?
Santa Paula, California
Santa Paula is a city in Ventura County, California, United States. Situated amidst the orchards of the fertile Santa Clara River Valley, the city advertises itself to tourists as the "Citrus Capital of the World." Santa Paula was one of the early centers of California's petroleum industry. The Union Oil Company Building, the founding headquarters of the Union Oil Company of California in 1890, now houses the California Oil Museum. The population was 29,321 at the 2010 census, up from 28,598 at the 2000 census.
The area of what today is Santa Paula was originally inhabited by the Chumash, a Native American people. In 1769, the Spanish Portola expedition, first Europeans to see inland areas of California, came down the Santa Clara River Valley from the previous night's encampment near Fillmore and camped in the vicinity of Santa Paula on August 12, near one of the creeks coming into the valley from the north (probably Santa Paula Creek). Fray Juan Crespi, a Franciscan missionary travelling with the expedition, had previously named the valley Cañada de Santa Clara. He noted that the party traveled about 9 to 10 miles (14 to 16 km) that day and camped near a large native village, which he named San Pedro Amoliano. The site of the expedition's arrival has been designated California Historical Landmark No. 727.[note 1][note 2]
Franciscan missionaries, led by Father Junipero Serra, became active in the area after the founding of the San Buenaventura Mission and established an Asistencia; the town takes its name from the Catholic Saint Paula. Santa Paula is located on the 1843 Rancho Santa Paula y Saticoy Mexican land grant.
In 1872 Nathan Weston Blanchard purchased 2,700 acres (10.9 km2) and laid out the townsite. Considered the founder of the community, he planted seedling orange trees in 1874. Several small oil companies owned by Wallace Hardison, Lyman Stewart and Thomas R. Bard were combined and became the Union Oil Company in 1890.
Find the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Santa Paula CA
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist course is essential 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 several alternatives offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically 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 provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Santa Paula CA.
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