How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Auburndale Florida
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program near Auburndale FL is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to take into account also, for instance 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 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Auburndale FL practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Auburndale FL dental practices are usually 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 almost 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 clinical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Selecting an online dental hygienist school can be a good option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Auburndale FL home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the right choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Auburndale FL, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online options as well. Even though these are significant initial factors to consider, there are a few 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 provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Auburndale FL employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist schools have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Auburndale FL dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the Auburndale FL dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools require help obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Auburndale FL dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the schools you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Auburndale FL dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Auburndale FL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Auburndale FL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Auburndale FL?
Auburndale is a city in Polk County, Florida, United States. The population was 11,032 at the 2000 census. According to the U.S Census estimates of 2005, the city had a population of 12,381. It is part of the Lakeland–Winter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Auburndale was founded in 1880 by Frank Fuller seeking refuge from chilly winters in the Northeast United States. The place was originally named Sanatoria, from a hotel located there. When the railroad arrived, it was renamed Auburndale at the suggestion of settlers from Auburndale, Massachusetts, which itself took its name from the opening line of the poem The Deserted Village by Oliver Goldsmith. Early on, the city became a refuge for many of America's most prominent artists.
Auburndale is located at 28°04′01″N 81°47′43″W / 28.066969°N 81.795252°W / 28.066969; -81.795252. The city is located 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Tampa and 59 miles (95 km) southwest of Orlando. Auburndale is located within the Central Florida Highlands area of the Atlantic coastal plain with a terrain consisting of flatland interspersed with gently rolling hills.
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,032 people, 4,119 households, and 3,002 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,113.5 inhabitants per square mile (816.0/km²). There were 4,547 housing units at an average density of 871.1 per square mile (336.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 81.13% White, 12.26% African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.88% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 3.46% from other races, and 1.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.10% of the population.
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist College near Auburndale FL
Choosing the right dental hygienist program is essential 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 a number of alternatives available to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Auburndale FL.
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