How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near Dodge City Kansas
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near Dodge City KS is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial factors to consider also, such as the college’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 2 to 3 years to complete. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
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 assists the Dodge City KS practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can 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 Dodge City KS dental offices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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 clinical aspect to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist school can be a good option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the convenience of your Dodge City KS home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the right choice for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Dodge City KS, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Dodge City KS employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist programs have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose provides enough 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, confirm that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Dodge City KS dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the Dodge City KS dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require help landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Dodge City KS dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the colleges you are reviewing how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Dodge City KS dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost based on the length 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 in addition to 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 analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Dodge City KS area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Dodge City KS at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Dodge City KS?
Dodge City, Kansas
Dodge City is the county seat of Ford County, Kansas, United States, named after nearby Fort Dodge. The city is famous in American culture for its history as a wild frontier town of the Old West. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 27,340.
Fort Mann was the first settlement of nonindigenous people in the area that became Dodge City, built by civilians in 1847 (then the territory being part of Mexico) to provide protection for travelers on the Santa Fe Trail. Fort Mann collapsed in 1848 after an Indian attack. In 1850, the U.S. Army arrived to provide protection in the region and constructed Fort Atkinson on the old Fort Mann site. The army abandoned Fort Atkinson in 1853. Military forces on the Santa Fe Trail were re-established farther north and east at Fort Larned in 1859, but the area remained vacant around what would become Dodge City until the end of the Civil War. In April 1865, the Indian Wars in the West began heating up, and the army constructed Fort Dodge to assist Fort Larned in providing protection on the Santa Fe Trail. Fort Dodge remained in operation until 1882.
The town of Dodge City can trace its origins to 1871, when rancher Henry J. Sitler built a sod house west of Fort Dodge to oversee his cattle operations in the region, conveniently located near the Santa Fe Trail and Arkansas River, and Sitler's house quickly became a stopping point for travelers. Others saw the commercial potential of the region with the Santa Fe Railroad rapidly approaching from the east. In 1872, Dodge City was staked out on the 100th meridian and the legal western boundary of the Fort Dodge reservation. The town site was platted and George M. Hoover established the first bar in a tent to serve thirsty soldiers from Fort Dodge. The railroad arrived in September to find a town ready and waiting for business. The early settlers in Dodge City traded in buffalo bones and hides and provided a civilian community for Fort Dodge. However, with the arrival of the railroad, Dodge City soon became involved in the cattle trade.
The idea of driving Texas Longhorn cattle from Texas to railheads in Kansas originated in the late 1850s, but was cut short by the Civil War. In 1866, the first Texas cattle started arriving in Baxter Springs in southeastern Kansas by way of the Shawnee Trail. However, Texas Longhorn cattle carried a tick that spread Texas cattle fever, among other breeds of cattle. Alarmed Kansas farmers persuaded the Kansas State Legislature to establish a quarantine line in central Kansas. The quarantine prohibited Texas Longhorns from the heavily settled, eastern portion of the state.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Dodge City KS
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly 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 typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning a degree you can elect 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 right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Dodge City KS.
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