How to Select a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Cumberland Kentucky
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Cumberland KY is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider also, including the college’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. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Cumberland KY practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every 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
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 licensing examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Cumberland KY dental practices are usually 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 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 practical component to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist college might be a good alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Cumberland KY home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. 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 required to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the ideal option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Cumberland KY, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online options also. Although these may be significant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should address to the colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Cumberland KY employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important part of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist colleges have relationships with local dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you select offers adequate 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 choose offers clinical rotation in a local Cumberland KY dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental programs you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal method to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional 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 too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges require help landing their first job. Check if the schools you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Cumberland KY dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the colleges you are evaluating how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Cumberland KY dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Cumberland KY area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Cumberland KY in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Cumberland KY?
University of the Cumberlands
University of the Cumberlands is a private, religious college located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, with an enrollment of approximately 7,000 students. The school, known as Cumberland College until January 7, 2005, is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, the Kentucky affiliate of the Southern Baptist Convention.
University of the Cumberlands, first called Williamsburg Institute, was founded on January 7, 1889. At the 1887 annual meeting of the Mount Zion Association, representatives from 18 eastern Kentucky Baptist churches discussed plans to provide higher education in the Kentucky mountains. The college was incorporated by the Kentucky state legislature on April 6, 1888. In 1907 the school bought the three buildings of Highland College, and in 1913, Williamsburg Institute's name was changed to Cumberland College. The name reflected the institution's location along the Cumberland River and its proximity to Cumberland Falls and the Cumberland Gap. From its inception, the institution has been affiliated with the Baptist Church, and its mission has been to educate and prepare leaders for service to the greater community. On the basis of being controlled by the Kentucky Baptist Convention and being bound by its policies, the university has requested and received exemptions from Title IX in the areas of "admissions, recruitment, education programs or activities, and employment", allowing it to discriminate in those fields based on its views regarding "marriage, sex outside of marriage, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, and abortion."
Although founded as a senior college, in 1918 Cumberland College officially became a junior college. The college received its first accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in 1931. In 1956 the Board of Trustees began bringing the college back to senior college status. The junior year was added in 1959-60 and the senior year in 1960-61. SACS granted initial accreditation to the institution as a senior college in December 1964. Since then, SACS has reaffirmed the college's accreditation in 1974, 1985, 1995, and 2006. It is next scheduled for reaffirmation in 2016.
Cumberland College received authority to award its first graduate degree, the Master of Arts in Education (MAED) on April 6, 1988. Graduate education has since become an integral part of the institution. In 2005, the institution received authorization from SACS to offer the Master of Arts in Teaching degree (MAT). This action was followed in 2006 with permission from the SACS Commission on Colleges to offer both the MAED and MAT degrees fully online. More recently in 2008, the Commission also authorized the granting of the MBA degree, the Ed.S. degree, as well as the institution's first doctoral degree, an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership. Master's programs in Professional Counseling and in Physician Assistant Studies were approved by SACS in 2009, and the Master of Arts in Christian Studies in 2010.
Select the Best Dental Hygienist College near Cumberland KY
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is essential if you wish 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 obtain your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning 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 appropriate choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Cumberland KY.
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