How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near Ashland Kentucky
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Ashland KY is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the college with the lowest 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 school’s reputation and accreditation. 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. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Ashland KY practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
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 Examination as well as any state licensure examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Ashland KY dental offices are often 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 finish 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 practical aspect to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Classes
Choosing an online dental hygienist college may be a good option for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Ashland KY home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the right option for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Ashland KY, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online options as well. Even though these are relevant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition 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 guarantee that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Ashland KY employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Ashland KY dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the best way to obtain hands-on, practical 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 create 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 need help getting their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at 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 Ashland KY dental profession in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the programs you are reviewing how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Ashland KY dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also have an impact. But besides 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Ashland KY area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Ashland KY at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, 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 work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Ashland KY?
Ashland is a home rule-class city in Boyd County, Kentucky, in the United States. Ashland, the largest city in Boyd County, is located upon the southern bank of the Ohio River. The population was 21,684 at the 2010 census. Ashland is a part of the Huntington-Ashland metropolitan area; with a population of 363,000. Ashland is the second-largest city within the MSA, after Huntington, West Virginia. Ashland serves as an important economic and medical center for northeast Kentucky and is part of the fifth-largest metropolitan area in Kentucky.
Ashland dates back to the migration of the Poage family from the Shenandoah Valley via the Cumberland Gap in 1786. They erected a homestead along the Ohio River and named it Poage's Landing. Also called Poage Settlement, the community that developed around it remained an extended-family affair until the mid-19th century. In 1854, the city name was changed to Ashland, after Henry Clay's Lexington estate and to reflect the city's growing industrial base. The city's early industrial growth was a result of the Ohio Valley's pig iron industry and, particularly, the 1854 charter of the Kentucky Iron, Coal, and Manufacturing Company by the Kentucky General Assembly. The city was formally incorporated by the General Assembly two years later in 1856. Major industrial employers in the first half of the 20th Century included Armco, Ashland Oil and Refining Company, the C&O Railroad, Allied Chemical & Dye Company's Semet Solvay, and Mansbach Steel.
Ashland is located at 38°27′50″N 82°38′30″W / 38.464017°N 82.641571°W / 38.464017; -82.641571 (38.464017, -82.641571). It lies within the ecoregion of the Western Allegheny Plateau.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.8 square miles (27.9 km2), of which 10.7 square miles (27.8 km2) is land and 0.039 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.30%, is water.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Ashland KY
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is imperative if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options available to receive your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Ashland KY.
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