How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Concordia Kansas
Choosing the right dental hygienist school near Concordia KS is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other important 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 two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Concordia KS dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost 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 examinations. After 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 Education Options
As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Concordia KS dental offices are normally 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| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist program can be a viable option for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Concordia KS home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Some may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Concordia KS, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these may be relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement 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 training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Concordia KS employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important component of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist programs have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Concordia KS dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best means to receive hands-on, clinical 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 develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs need help landing their first job. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Concordia KS dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the schools you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Concordia KS dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 comparing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Concordia KS area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Concordia KS at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Concordia KS?
Concordia is a city in and the county seat of Cloud County, Kansas, United States. It is located along the Republican River in the Smoky Hills region of the Great Plains in north-central Kansas. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 5,395. Concordia is home of the Cloud County Community College and the Nazareth Convent and Academy.
Concordia holds the distinction of being elected the county seat before the town was created. The founder of the town, James M. Hagaman had created a complete layout of the town on paper including streets, blocks, courthouse, and parks. The name "Concordia" was chosen because a member of the early group of promoters ("Cap" Snyder) had once lived in Concordia, Missouri.
December 1869 was the first election for the county seat with Concordia, Clyde and the now defunct town Sibley. Without a clear majority, a second election was held between Concordia and Sibley on January 4, 1870. Concordia was declared the winner over Sibley 165 votes to 129.
It was over a year later when Concordia officially became a town when the Republican Land District Office opened on January 16, 1871. The Concordia Land Office continued until February 28, 1889 when it was consolidated with the land office in Topeka, Kansas.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist College near Concordia KS
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 we have covered, there are many options available to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Concordia KS.
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