How to Select a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Elkton Kentucky
Picking the right dental hygienist school near Elkton KY is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider also, including the program’s accreditation and reputation. 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 finish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Elkton KY dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost 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 in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Elkton KY dental practices are usually 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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 offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist program may be a great option for obtaining your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Elkton KY home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education far more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the right option for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Elkton KY, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for some online options also. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Elkton KY employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist programs have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Elkton KY dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal way to get 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 professional relationships in the Elkton KY dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require help landing their first job. Check if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Elkton KY dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the colleges you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Elkton KY dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Elkton KY area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and need to attend classes near Elkton KY at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical 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 Elkton KY?
The city was founded by Major John Gray and established by the state assembly in 1820. It is named for a nearby watering hole previously hosting a large elk herd. It was formally incorporated in 1843.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,984 people, 810 households, and 541 families residing in the city. The population density was 959.4 people per square mile (370.1/km²). There were 928 housing units at an average density of 448.8 per square mile (173.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 82.31% White, 15.68% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 1.21% from other races, and 0.35% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.32% of the population.
There were 810 households out of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.7% were married couples living together, 19.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.1% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.82.
In the city, the population was spread out with 22.3% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 21.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 80.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 78.3 males.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist College near Elkton KY
Picking the right dental hygienist course is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Elkton KY.
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