How to Select a Dental Hygienist College near Westwood California
Selecting the right dental hygienist program near Westwood CA is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account also, such as 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. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Westwood CA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial 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 also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- 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 exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Westwood CA dental offices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take 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 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 practical component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist school might 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 portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the convenience of your Westwood CA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically 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 appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the ideal option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Westwood CA, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online alternatives also. Even though these are significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Westwood CA employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important component of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist colleges have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Westwood CA dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal means to get 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 develop professional relationships in the Westwood CA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need assistance getting their first job. Ask if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Westwood CA dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Ask the schools you are evaluating how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Westwood CA dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to 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 schools, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Westwood CA area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near Westwood CA at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Westwood CA?
Westwood is a census-designated place (CDP) in Lassen County, California, United States. Westwood is located 20 miles (32 km) west-southwest of Susanville, at an elevation of 5,128 feet (1,563 m). The population was 1,647 at the 2010 census, down from 1,998 at the 2000 census. Westwood is the hometown of mythical logger Paul Bunyan.
Westwood was built by T. B. Walker to be the operations center for the Red River Lumber Company in 1913. The first post office opened the same year. The Red River Lumber Company is credited as being "the world's largest electrical sawmill of the times." Red River Lumber Company also operated one of the first electric railways in the state built in 1927. The mill was equipped with the most modern equipment for its time; and the surrounding territory was crisscrossed by forest railways bringing logs to the mill. The railway shop at Westwood was home to 2-8-0 #102 and 2-8-2 #104 when forest railway operations ceased in the early 1950s. The four woods engines scrapped in 1953 were 2-6-0 number 1, 2-6-2 number 2, 2-8-2 number 3, and 3-truck Shay locomotive number 4.
William Laughead, an advertising copywriter who had once worked in lumber camps, took the stories of an old lumberjack and reworked them into the modern character. He sold the stories of Paul Bunyan and his Blue Ox "Babe" to the Red River Lumber Company, which published "Introducing Mr. Paul Bunyan of Westwood, California" in 1916 as an advertising pamphlet. Among other things, Laughead gave the name "Babe" to the blue ox, originated the idea that Paul Bunyan and Babe were of enormous size, and created the first pictorial representation of Bunyan.
The Red River Lumber Company's electric mill at Westwood made wooden Venetian blinds, plywood, boxes, doors and windows which were shipped all over the U.S. and the world. The Westwood mill set a world record in 1942 by sawing 212 million board feet.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Westwood CA
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is important if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives offered to receive your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Westwood CA.
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