How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Training Program near Goddard Kansas
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Goddard KS is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider also, for instance the school’s reputation and accreditation. 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 finish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Goddard KS dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- 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 must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Goddard KS dental offices are normally 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 complete 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 clinical component 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 option for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your Goddard KS home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical 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 get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the best option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Goddard KS, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for several online alternatives as well. Even though these are important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided 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 program. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Goddard KS employers frequently desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Goddard KS dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the Goddard KS dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs require assistance getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Goddard KS dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the programs you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Goddard KS 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 Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Goddard KS area.
Are the Classes Accessible? 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 acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Goddard KS in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Goddard KS?
In 1883, Ezekiel Wilder purchased farmland on the planned railway of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway south of Blendon, Kansas, approximately 10 miles (16 km) west of Wichita. There, he established the town of Goddard in honor of J. F. Goddard, former third vice-president of the ATSF Railway. The railroad reached Goddard in 1884, and a post office was established there the same year. Several buildings were relocated from Blendon, including the town hall and the planned Methodist church. Goddard was officially incorporated in 1910. On June 23, 1969, an F4 tornado struck Goddard. No fatalities occurred, but six people were injured.
Goddard is located at 37°39′35″N 97°34′27″W / 37.65972°N 97.57417°W / 37.65972; -97.57417 (37.659706, -97.574271) at an elevation of 1,463 feet (446 m). Goddard lies on U.S. Route 54 in south-central Kansas immediately west of Wichita.
The community lies approximately 12 miles (19 km) southwest of the Arkansas River and 8 miles (13 km) north-northeast of the Ninnescah River in the Wellington-McPherson Lowlands region of the Great Plains.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.49 square miles (11.63 km2), of which, 4.43 square miles (11.47 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) is water.
Enroll in the Best Dental Hygienist School near Goddard KS
Choosing the right 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 several alternatives available to acquire 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 community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Goddard KS.
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