How to Select a Dental Hygienist Program near Riley Kansas
Picking the ideal dental hygienist school near Riley KS is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to take into account as well, 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 complete. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Riley KS dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding 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 graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. When they have completed 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 as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Riley KS dental practices are normally required to have 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 trade and technical schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical aspect to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program can be a viable option for obtaining your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Riley KS home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the right option for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Riley KS, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives as well. Although these may be significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Riley KS employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Riley KS dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best method 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 working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs require help obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Riley KS dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Find out from the colleges you are looking at how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Riley KS dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to 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 examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Riley KS area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near Riley KS at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical 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 responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Riley KS?
Fort Riley is a United States Army installation located in North Central Kansas, on the Kansas River, also known as the Kaw, between Junction City and Manhattan. The Fort Riley Military Reservation covers 101,733 acres (41,170 ha) in Geary and Riley counties. The portion of the fort that contains housing development is part of the Fort Riley census-designated place, with a residential population of 7,761 as of the 2010 census. The fort has a daytime population of nearly 25,000. The ZIP Code is 66442.
Fort Riley is named in honor of Major General Bennet C. Riley, who led the first military escort along the Santa Fe Trail. The fort was established in 1853 as a military post to protect the movement of people and trade over the Oregon, California, and Santa Fe trails. In the years after the Civil War, Fort Riley served as a major United States Cavalry post and school for cavalry tactics and practice. The post was a base for skirmishes with Native Americans after the Civil War ended in 1865, during which time George A. Custer was stationed at the fort.
In 1887, Fort Riley became the site of the United States Cavalry School. The famous all-black 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments, the soldiers of which were called "Buffalo Soldiers", were stationed at Fort Riley at various times in the 19th and early 20th centuries. During World War I, the fort was home to 50,000 soldiers, and it is sometimes identified as ground zero for the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which its soldiers were said to have spread all over the world. Since the end of World War II, various infantry divisions have been assigned there. Most notably, from 1955 to 1996 the post was home to the famed 1st Infantry Division, also called "Big Red One". Between 1999–2006, the post was headquarters to the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) and known as "America's Warfighting Center". In August 2006, the Big Red One relocated its headquarters to Fort Riley from Leighton Barracks, Germany.
The early history of Fort Riley is closely tied to the movement of people and trade along the Oregon and Santa Fe trails. These routes, a result of then-popular United States doctrine of "manifest destiny" in the middle of the 19th century, prompted increased American military presence for the protection of American interests in this largely unsettled territory. During the 1850s, a number of military posts were established at strategic points to provide protection along these arteries of emigration and commerce.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist School near Riley KS
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist course is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are many alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking 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 Riley KS.
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