How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist School near Oswego Kansas
Choosing the right dental hygienist program near Oswego KS is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account as well, 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 complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs 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 a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Oswego KS dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching 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 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 exams. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Oswego KS dental offices are generally 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 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 practical component to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Selecting an online dental hygienist school may be a good alternative for receiving your education. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Oswego KS home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education much more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the right choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Oswego KS, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online options as well. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included 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 several 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. To qualify 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 education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Oswego KS employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Oswego KS dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal way to get 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 professional relationships in the Oswego KS dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Oswego KS dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Ask the colleges you are evaluating how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Oswego KS dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Oswego KS area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist 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 Oswego KS at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have 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 work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Oswego KS?
Oswego is located on the site of an Osage village called No tse Wa spe, which means "Heart Stays" or more loosely translated, "Quiet Heart." Jesuit Missionaries from Osage Mission (now St. Paul, Kansas) who worked among the Osages called the village "Little Town," probably because the band of Osages who lived in the village were of the "Little Osage" division of the Osage People. More specifically, the Osage Village of Little Town was described as "Little Town Above" by the Jesuits, to distinguish it from another village, which was sometimes located just to the east of Little Town, called "Little Town Below." While Osage villages were moved quite often (according to weather, hunting conditions, and sanitary conditions) Little Town Above was generally located on the bluff overlooking the Neosho River, where Oswego sits today. Little Town Below often sat near Horseshoe Lake, in the Neosho River Valley about a mile due east of Oswego. During the 1850s, Little Town was often referred to as "White Hair's Town," in honor of a resident of the village named Iron Hawk. Iron Hawk was named Grand Tsi Shu Chief (or Peace Chief) of the Osage Nation (through the 19th Century, it was tradition for the Osage Chief to take the name "White Hair".
A study of the baptismal records of the Jesuits at Osage Mission reveals that several white or mixed white and Osage families lived in or near Little Town before the Civil War. Several mixed white and Cherokee families also lived in or near the present site of Little Town, likely just east of the village in the Cherokee Neutral Lands or to the south, near Chetopa.
One family of mixed Osage blood that lived at Little Town before the Civil War was the John Allan Mathews family, who operated a blacksmith/gunsmith shop on the site and ran a trading post here, as well as one at Osage Mission and one at Fort Gibson. Mathews first purchased the trading post at Little Town from Augustus Chouteau in either 1838 or 1843, depending upon the source. Mathews was married to Mary Ann Williams until her death and then to her sister Sarah Jane Williams, daughters of William Sherley Williams, better known as "Old Bill Williams" and his Osage wife, A-Ci'n-Ga or Wind Blossom.
Mathews was a slaveholder from Kentucky, as evidenced by the baptismal records of the Osage Mission. Before the Civil War, Mathews was involved in driving off settlers from the adjacent Cherokee Neutral Lands and in stirring Southern sympathies among Native Americans living on the frontier. Early in the spring of 1861, Mathews was commissioned a captain in the Confederate Army and given orders to organize a company of soldiers from among sympathetic Native Americans, specifically, the Quapaw. In June 1861, he held a meeting at the house of Larkin McGhee in the nearby Osage village of Chetopa and organized a company of Osages and mixed-blood Cherokees for the Confederate Army. One of his sons, John Mathews, Jr. joined this company. September 8, 1861, Mathews led another company, this one made up of Osages, mixed-blooded Osages and Cherokees, and border ruffians. This second company raided and looted Humboldt, Kansas, capturing no less than a dozen freed slaves. James Lane put a $1000.00 bounty on the head of Mathews, who was soon betrayed by a man who worked at his ranch. The man helped James G. Blunt and the Kansas 6th Volunteer Cavalry (and the Humboldt Home Guard) track down Mathews. He was killed at the house of William Blythe, rented by Lewis Rogers, just south east of Chetopa on the Cherokee Neutral Lands.
Pick the Best Dental Hygienist School near Oswego KS
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately 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 provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Oswego KS.
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