How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Harlan Kentucky
Picking the right dental hygienist school near Harlan KY is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to consider as well, such as 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 finish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Harlan KY practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 licensure examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Harlan KY dental practices 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 technical schools as well as community colleges. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a clinical component to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist school can be a viable 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 provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Harlan KY home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the right choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Harlan KY, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they look for several online options as well. Even though these may be important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Harlan KY employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist schools have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Harlan KY dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are considering have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal way to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real 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 Harlan KY dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need help landing their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Harlan KY dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the schools you are looking at how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Harlan KY dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Harlan KY area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Harlan KY in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Harlan KY?
Harlan was first settled by Samuel and Chloe Howard in 1796. Upon the founding of Harlan County (named for Kentucky pioneer Silas Harlan) in 1819, the Howards donated 12 acres (49,000 m2) of land to serve as the county seat. The community there was already known as "Mount Pleasant", apparently owing to a nearby Indian mound. A post office was established on September 19, 1828, but called "Harlan Court House" due to another Mt. Pleasant preempting that name. During the Civil War, Confederate raiders under Gen. Humphrey Marshall occupied the town; the local postmaster renamed the community "Spurlock" after himself; and, in October 1863, the courthouse was burnt down in reprisal for the Union destruction of the courthouse in Lee County, Virginia. In 1865, the post office was renamed "Harlan" and, although the community was formally incorporated by the state assembly as "Mount Pleasant" on April 15, 1884, the town was already usually called "Harlan Court House" or "Harlan Town" by its inhabitants. The city's terms of incorporation were amended to change the name to "Harlan" on March 13, 1912. One year before, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad had arrived in Harlan and prompted massive growth. The city had initially expanded east along the Clover Fork; after World War II, it also expanded south along Martin's Fork.
A flood in 1977 prompted federal aid that diverted the Clover Fork into man-made tunnels under Ivy Hill in 1989. In the 1990s, a flood wall was completed on the city's west side along the four-lane bypass U.S. Route 421.
Harlan is located in west-central Harlan County at 36°50′29″N 83°19′12″W / 36.84139°N 83.32000°W / 36.84139; -83.32000 (36.841487, -83.320066), at the junction of the Clover Fork and Martin's Fork rivers. The Clover Fork continues north 1.5 miles (2.4 km) to join the Poor Fork, forming the Cumberland River, a major tributary of the Ohio River. Harlan is in a narrow mountain valley, constrained to the north by the western end of Black Mountain, to the south by Little Black Mountain, and to the west by Ewing Spur. The elevation at the Harlan Courthouse is 1,197 feet (365 m) above sea level, while the surrounding ridges rise outside the city limits to 2,100 feet (640 m) (Black Mountain), 3,000 feet (910 m) (Little Black Mountain), and 2,300 feet (700 m) (Ewing Spur).
U.S. Route 421 passes through the city as four-lane highway; it leads north 34 miles (55 km) to Hyden and southeast 23 miles (37 km) to Pennington Gap, Virginia. The closest city with a population greater than 10,000 is Middlesboro, Kentucky, 42 miles (68 km) to the southeast via U.S. Routes 119 and 25E.
Choose the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Harlan KY
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist course is imperative 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 numerous options available to obtain 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 junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately two years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning 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 in a better position to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Harlan KY.
More Great Cities in Kentucky