How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near West Hartford Connecticut
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program near West Hartford CT is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the West Hartford CT dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed 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 in addition to passing any state licensing exams. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in West Hartford CT dental offices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 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 practical aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college can be a viable option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your West Hartford CT home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The practical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in West Hartford CT, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online options as well. Although these are relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition 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 ensure that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. West Hartford CT employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local West Hartford CT dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to receive 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 build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require help landing their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the West Hartford CT dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the programs you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the West Hartford CT dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the West Hartford CT area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near West Hartford CT in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near West Hartford CT?
West Hartford, Connecticut
The town is known for its popular downtown area colloquially known as "West Hartford Center," or simply "The Center," which is centered on Farmington Avenue and South/North Main Street. West Hartford Center has been the community's main hub since the late 17th century. In 2008, Blue Back Square opened as a new addition to the central area. Blue Back includes a bookstore, a movie theater, two parking garages, various physician and medical offices, and several restaurants.
Incorporated as a town in 1854, the town was previously a parish of Hartford, founded in 1672. Among the southernmost of the communities encompassed within the Hartford-Springfield Knowledge Corridor metropolitan region, West Hartford is home to University of Hartford and the University of Saint Joseph.
In 2010, Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine listed West Hartford as one of the nation's "10 Great Cities for Raising Families." In 2010, Kiplinger's ranked West Hartford #9 on its "10 Best Cities for the Next Decade" list. In 2010, CNN Money ranked West Hartford as the 55th best small city in America. In 2010, the national online magazine Travelandleisure.com cited West Hartford as one of 10 "coolest" suburbs in the nation. The magazine called the West Hartford Reservoir off Farmington Avenue "West Hartford's version of Central Park," and it also noted the town's "vacation-worthy hot spots, with cutting-edge restaurants, great shopping, and plenty of parking."
According to new archaeological evidence, the Wampanoag people used West Hartford as one of their winter camps. Fishing and hunting along the Connecticut River, the area of West Hartford offered the Wampanoag people a refuge from the cold winter wind and the river's severe spring flooding. In 1636 Reverend Thomas Hooker led a group of followers from what is now Cambridge, Massachusetts to the "Great River" and eventually established the Hartford Colony. As the colony grew, additional land was needed. In 1672 the Proprietors of Hartford ordered that a Division be created to the West. A total of "72 Long Lots" were laid out between today's Quaker Lane in the East and Mountain Road in the West. The northern boundary was Bloomfield, and the Southern, present day New Britain Avenue. (The western boundary was extended in 1830 to include part of Farmington). In the 1670s the area was referred to as the "West Division" of Hartford. This remained the official name until 1806 when Connecticut General Assembly started referring to it as "the Society of West Hartford."
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist School near West Hartford CT
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is imperative if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives available 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 junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately two years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in West Hartford CT.
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