How to Choose a Dental Hygienist School near Broomfield Colorado
Choosing the right dental hygienist program near Broomfield CO is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to consider as well, such as the program’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists generally 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 cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Broomfield CO practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed 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 in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. Once they have completed these requirements they are considered 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 increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Broomfield CO dental offices are often 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Choosing an online dental hygienist program may be a good option for obtaining 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 balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Broomfield CO home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the right choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Broomfield CO, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order 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 get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Broomfield CO employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist schools have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Broomfield CO dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools need help obtaining their first job. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Broomfield CO dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the colleges you are looking at how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Broomfield CO dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Broomfield CO area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Broomfield CO in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need 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 responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Broomfield CO?
Broomfield, officially the City and County of Broomfield is a consolidated city and county in the U.S. state of Colorado. Broomfield has a consolidated city and county government which operates under Article XX, Sections 10-13 of the Constitution of the State of Colorado. The population was 55,889 at the 2010 United States Census. Broomfield is the 16th most populous municipality and the 13th most populous county in Colorado.
The municipality of Broomfield was incorporated in 1961 in the southeastern corner of Boulder County. While it is unsure how it received its name, most researchers guess it's from the broomcorn grown in the area. Over the next three decades, the city grew through annexations, many of which crossed the county line into three adjacent counties: Adams, Jefferson and Weld. In the 1990s, city leaders began to push for the creation of a separate county to avoid the inefficiencies of dealing with four separate court districts, four different county seats, and four separate county sales tax bases. It also had longstanding political differences with Boulder County[clarification needed] which impelled it to separate. Broomfield reasoned that it could provide services more responsively under its own county government, and sought an amendment to the Colorado State Constitution to create a new county. The amendment was passed in 1998, after which a three-year transition period followed. On November 15, 2001, Broomfield County became the 64th, newest, and smallest county of Colorado. It is also the newest county in the United States (if county equivalents are not included).
The elevation in Broomfield ranges from 5,096 to 5,856 feet. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 34 square miles (88 km2), of which 33 square miles (85 km2) is land and 0.6 square miles (1.6 km2) (1.7%) is water. It is the smallest county by area in Colorado and the 5th smallest in the United States. Broomfield is the second most densely populated county in Colorado behind Denver.
Broomfield has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk). The city seems to have a unique microclimate within the metro area. Of the 54 days each year that Broomfield reaches 90 °F (32 °C) or higher, approximately 8 of those days are 100 °F (38 °C) or warmer. In comparison, Denver sees just 31 days of 90 °F (32 °C) temperatures. Broomfield also experiences 8 fewer days of weather below 32 °F (0 °C) than Denver each year. The USDA lists Broomfield as a city within the 6a plant hardiness zone.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Broomfield CO
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is imperative if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about 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 provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Broomfield CO.
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