How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist College near Hays Kansas
Selecting the right dental hygienist college near Hays KS is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider as well, including 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 prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Hays KS dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing 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 Examination as well as any state licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Hays KS dental offices are generally 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 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 practical component to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist college may be a great alternative for receiving your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Hays KS home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the right choice for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Hays KS, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives as well. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Hays KS employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist programs have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Hays KS dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means 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 form professional relationships in the Hays KS dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require assistance landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Hays KS dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the schools you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Hays KS dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Hays KS area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Hays KS in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still be required 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 work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Hays KS?
Hays is a city in and the county seat of Ellis County, Kansas, United States. The largest city in northwestern Kansas, it is the economic and cultural center of the region. It is also a college town, home to Fort Hays State University. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 20,510.
Prior to American settlement of the area, the site of Hays was located near where the territories of the Arapaho, Kiowa, and Pawnee met. Claimed first by France as part of Louisiana and later acquired by the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, it lay within the area organized by the U.S. as Kansas Territory in 1854. Kansas became a state in 1861, and the state government delineated the surrounding area as Ellis County in 1867.
In 1865, the U.S. Army established Fort Fletcher southeast of present-day Hays to protect stagecoaches traveling the Smoky Hill Trail. A year later, the Army renamed the post Fort Hays in honor of the late Brig. Gen. Alexander Hays. In late 1866, anticipating the construction of the Kansas Pacific Railway as far west as Fort Hays, a party from St. Louis, Missouri led by William Webb selected three sections of land for colonization near the fort. In June 1867, to better serve the railroad, the Army relocated Fort Hays 15 miles northwest to a site near where the railroad was to cross Big Creek, a tributary of the Smoky Hill River. Seeing a business opportunity, Buffalo Bill Cody and railroad contractor William Rose founded the settlement of Rome, Kansas near the fort's new location. Within a month, the population of Rome grew to over 2,000. Webb, meanwhile, established the Big Creek Land Company and then surveyed and platted a town site, which he named Hays City after the fort, roughly one mile east of Rome. The railroad reached Hays City soon thereafter and constructed a depot there. The railroad's arrival, combined with a cholera epidemic that hit Rome in the late summer of 1867, drove Rome businesses and residents to relocate to Hays City. Within a year, Rome was completely abandoned. As the western terminus of the railway, Hays City grew rapidly, serving as the supply point for territories to the west and southwest.
As a frontier town, Hays City experienced the kind of violence that later fueled the American myth of the Old West, including an 1869 murder of Union Pacific watchman James Hayes and subsequent lynching of three African-American soldiers from the fort  and a deadly saloon shootout involving Caucasian soldiers among 30 homicides that occurred during the six years up to 1873. By 1885, the year Hays City was incorporated, a cemetery north of town held the bodies of some 79 outlaws and had become known as “Boot Hill.” Several notable figures of the Old West lived in the Hays City of this era, including George Armstrong Custer, his wife Elizabeth Bacon Custer, Calamity Jane, Buffalo Bill Cody, and Wild Bill Hickok who served a brief term as sheriff in 1869.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist School near Hays KS
Picking the ideal dental hygienist course is crucial if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options offered to receive your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to 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 best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Hays KS.
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