How to Select a Dental Hygienist Program near Cape Coral Florida
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program near Cape Coral FL is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to consider as well, such as the college’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 finish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Cape Coral FL practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensing examinations. When they have fulfilled 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
Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Cape Coral FL dental offices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program might be a great alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Cape Coral FL home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the right option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Cape Coral FL, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online alternatives also. Although these are relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are reviewing in order to make 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 best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Cape Coral FL employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important component of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist schools have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Cape Coral FL dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the Cape Coral FL dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Cape Coral FL dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the programs you are evaluating how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Cape Coral FL dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with 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 equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Cape Coral FL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Cape Coral FL at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Cape Coral FL?
Cape Coral, Florida
Cape Coral /ˈkɔːrəl/ is a city located in Lee County, Florida, United States, on the Gulf of Mexico. Founded in 1957 and developed as a planned community, the city grew to a population of 154,305 by the year 2010. The city's population estimate was 165,831 for 2013 and 179,804 for 2016. With an area of 120 square miles (310 km2), Cape Coral is the largest city between Tampa and Miami. It is a principal city in the Cape Coral – Fort Myers, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population estimate for the statistical area was 679,513 for 2014. The city is known as a "Waterfront Wonderland"; with over 400 mi (640 km) of navigable waterways, Cape Coral has more miles of canals than any other city in the world.
Cape Coral history began in 1957 when two brothers from Baltimore, Maryland, Leonard and Jack Rosen, flew over the peninsula known as Redfish Point, across the Caloosahatchee River near present-day Fort Myers. Cape Coral was founded as Redfish Point. Leonard and Jack Rosen, who were real-estate developers, purchased a 103-square-mile (270 km2) tract known as Redfish Point for $678,000 in that year and, in 1958, began development of the city as a master-planned, pre-planned community.
The Gulf American Land Corporation (GALC), was formed to develop the area. Canals were dug, streets paved, houses and businesses built. Cape Coral was promoted like no other Florida development. Celebrities were brought in to tout the benefits of "the Cape", as it is known locally. The first building in Cape Coral, even before any houses were constructed, was the Rosen's sales office. It was built right on the spot where George's Auto now stands, at Cape Coral and Coronado Pkwys. Cape Coral's first permanent resident was Kenny Schwartz, the Rosens' general manager. Cape Coral's first four homes were completed in May 1958, on Riverside and Flamingo Drives.
Development continued through the early 1960s, mostly on Redfish Point, south of Cape Coral Parkway. By 1963, the population was 2,850; 1,300 buildings had been finished or were under construction; 80 mi (130 km) of road had been built, and 160 mi (260 km) of canals had been dug. The public yacht club, a golf course, medical clinic and shopping center were up and running. A major addition for Cape Coral was the construction of the 3,400 feet (1,000 m) long Cape Coral Bridge across the Caloosahatchee River, which opened in early 1964. Before the bridge, a trip to Fort Myers was more than 20 mi (32 km) via Del Prado Boulevard and over the Edison Bridge to cross the river.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Cape Coral FL
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, 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 receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately two years of studies before they enter the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Cape Coral FL.
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