How to Select a Dental Hygienist Program near Salina Kansas
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist school near Salina KS is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, including the college’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 two to three years to finish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Salina KS practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensure exams. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Salina KS dental offices are generally required to have 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 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 clinical aspect to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist program can be a viable alternative for getting your education. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Salina KS home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the right option for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Salina KS, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the start of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online options as well. Although these may be important initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the programs 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 due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Salina KS employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Salina KS dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal means to get hands-on, clinical 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 establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Salina KS dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the programs you are looking at how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Salina KS dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, such as 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 significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Salina KS area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Salina KS in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need 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 because of illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Salina KS?
Salina /səˈlaɪnə/ is a city in and the county seat of Saline County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census[update], the city population was 47,707. Located in one of the world's largest wheat-producing areas, Salina is a regional trade center for north-central Kansas. It is home to multiple colleges.
Prior to European colonization of the area, the site of Salina was located within the territory of the Kansa people. Claimed first by France as part of Louisiana and later acquired by the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, it was within the area organized by the U.S. as Kansas Territory in 1854. In 1856, a colony led by Preston B. Plumb established the first American settlement near the site at a location on the Saline River.
Settlers led by journalist and lawyer William A. Phillips founded Salina in 1858. During the following two years, the territorial legislature chartered the town company, organized the surrounding area as Saline County, and named Salina the county seat. The westernmost town on the Smoky Hill Trail, Salina established itself as a trading post for westbound immigrants, prospectors bound for Pikes Peak, and area American Indian tribes. The town's growth halted with the outbreak of the American Civil War when much of the male population left to join the U.S. Army.
In 1862, local residents fended off American Indian raiders only to fall victim to a second assault by bushwhackers later that year. In May and June 1864, the Salina Stockade was built to protect the town against further Indian raids. Troops were garrisoned in Salina until March 1865, and some may have returned in June 1865. The stockade was probably used until at least spring or summer 1865.
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Salina KS
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is imperative if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of options offered to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Salina KS.
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