How to Pick a Dental Hygienist School near Miami Florida
Picking the ideal dental hygienist school near Miami FL is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than choosing the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other significant issues to consider as well, for instance the program’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Miami FL dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out 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 X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Miami FL dental practices are often required to hold 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 almost 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| A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist college can be a good option for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Miami FL home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is furnished. 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.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Miami FL, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they look for some online alternatives as well. Although these may be important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 ensure that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Miami FL employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Miami FL dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to receive 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 develop professional relationships in the Miami FL dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need assistance getting their first job. Check if the programs you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Miami FL dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the schools you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Miami FL dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training 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 if they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Miami FL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near Miami FL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still have 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 due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Miami FL?
Miami (/maɪˈæmi/; Spanish pronunciation: [miˈami]) is a major port city on the Atlantic coast of south Florida in the southeastern United States. As the seat of Miami-Dade County, the municipality is the principal, central, and the most populous city of the Miami metropolitan area and part of the second-most populous metropolis in the southeastern United States. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Miami's metro area is the eighth-most populous and fourth-largest urban area in the U.S., with a population of around 5.5 million.
Miami is a major center, and a leader in finance, commerce, culture, media, entertainment, the arts, and international trade. In 2012, Miami was classified as an "Alpha−" level world city in the World Cities Study Group's inventory. In 2010, Miami ranked seventh in the United States and 33rd among global cities in terms of business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience, and political engagement. In 2008, Forbes magazine ranked Miami "America's Cleanest City", for its year-round good air quality, vast green spaces, clean drinking water, clean streets, and citywide recycling programs. According to a 2009 UBS study of 73 world cities, Miami was ranked as the richest city in the United States, and the world's seventh-richest city in terms of purchasing power. Miami is nicknamed the "Capital of Latin America" and is the largest city with a Cuban-American plurality.
Miami has the third tallest skyline in the U.S. with over 300 high-rises. Downtown Miami is home to the largest concentration of international banks in the United States, and many large national and international companies. The Civic Center is a major center for hospitals, research institutes, medical centers, and biotechnology industries. For more than two decades, the Port of Miami, known as the "Cruise Capital of the World", has been the number one cruise passenger port in the world. It accommodates some of the world's largest cruise ships and operations, and is the busiest port in both passenger traffic and cruise lines. Metropolitan Miami is also a major tourism hub in the southeastern U.S. for international visitors, ranking number two in the country after New York City.
The Miami area was inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous Native American tribes. The Tequestas occupied the area for a thousand years before encountering Europeans. An Indian village of hundreds of people dating to 500–600 B.C. was located at the mouth of the Miami River.
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Miami FL
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is important if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives available to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Miami FL.
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