How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near Lake Wales Florida
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Lake Wales FL is an important first 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 far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider also, including 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 complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Lake Wales FL dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. When 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 Training Options
Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Lake Wales FL dental practices 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program can be a good alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the convenience of your Lake Wales FL home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the best option for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Lake Wales FL, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for several online alternatives also. Even though these may be important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement 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 guarantee that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Lake Wales FL employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose provides 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 choose offers clinical rotation in a local Lake Wales FL dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the Lake Wales FL dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require help landing their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Lake Wales FL dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the programs you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Lake Wales FL dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Lake Wales FL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near Lake Wales FL at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Lake Wales FL?
Lake Wales, Florida
Lake Wales is a city in Polk County, Florida, United States. The population was 14,225 at the 2010 census. As of 2014[update], the population estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau is 15,140. It is part of the Lakeland–Winter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area. Lake Wales is located in central Florida, west of Lake Kissimmee and east of Tampa.
The city of Lake Wales was established near the lake in 1911–12, planned by the Lake Wales Land Company. The spelling Wales was used for the city, although the lake is still generally spelled Lake Wailes. Allen Carleton Nydegger, a Civil Engineer, was contracted by the Lake Wales Land Company to plot out the community of Lake Wales. He and his crew camped on the shores of Crystal Lake and spent months plotting out the new community. In 1925 the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad built a new line from Haines City joining lines to Everglades City. A depot was opened on this line at Lake Wales. The City of Lake Wales was officially incorporated in April 1917.
In 2004, Lake Wales endured the effects of three hurricanes which came through the area: Hurricane Charley, Hurricane Frances and Hurricane Jeanne. The three hurricanes brought hurricane-force winds to the Lake Wales area within a space of 44 days.
The town lies near the geographical center of the Florida peninsula. Lake Wales is located on the Lake Wales Ridge, a sandy upland area running roughly parallel to both coasts in the center of the peninsula. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 14.0 square miles (36 km2), of which 13.4 square miles (35 km2) is land and 0.7 square miles (1.8 km2) (4.71%) is water.
Pick the Best Dental Hygienist College near Lake Wales FL
Choosing the right dental hygienist program is important if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many options offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Lake Wales FL.
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