How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Abilene Kansas
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Abilene KS is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial factors to consider also, for instance the program’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 talk about all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Abilene KS practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth 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 stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Abilene KS dental practices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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 clinical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program can be a great option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Abilene KS home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. 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 obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Abilene KS, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for some online options as well. Although these are important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 guarantee that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Abilene KS employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist schools have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Abilene KS dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to receive hands-on, practical 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 as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs require help getting their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Abilene KS dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the colleges you are looking at how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Abilene KS dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs 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 comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Abilene KS area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near Abilene KS in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have 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 because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Abilene KS?
Abilene (pronounced /ˈæbɪliːn/) is a city in and the county seat of Dickinson County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 6,844.The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum is located in Abilene.
For millennia, the land now known as Kansas was inhabited by Native Americans. In 1803, most of modern Kansas was secured by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state.
In 1857, Dickinson County was founded. Abilene began as a stage coach stop in the same year, established by Timothy Hersey and named Mud Creek. It wasn't until 1860 that it was named Abilene, from a passage in the Bible (Luke 3:1), meaning "city of the plains".
In 1867, the Kansas Pacific Railway (Union Pacific) pushed westward through Abilene. In the same year, Joseph G. McCoy purchased 250 acres of land north and east of Abilene, on which he built a hotel, the Drover’s Cottage, stockyards equipped for 2,000 heads of cattle, and a stable for their horses. The Kansas Pacific put in a spur line at Abilene that enabled the cattle cars to be loaded and sent on to their destinations. The first twenty carloads left September 5, 1867, en route to Chicago, Illinois, where McCoy was familiar with the market. The town grew quickly and became the very first "cow town" of the west.
Enroll in the Best Dental Hygienist School near Abilene KS
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is crucial if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives offered 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, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Abilene KS.
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