How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Madisonville Kentucky
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Madisonville KY is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are reviewing 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 contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Madisonville KY practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They may also carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 in addition to passing any state licensure examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Madisonville KY dental practices are generally required to hold 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 almost 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| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training
Choosing an online dental hygienist college might be a good option for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Madisonville KY home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the right choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Madisonville KY, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for several online options as well. Even though these may be important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Madisonville KY employers often 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 offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose 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, check that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Madisonville KY dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the Madisonville KY dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need help getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Madisonville KY dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Check with the schools you are reviewing how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Madisonville KY dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public 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 commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Madisonville KY area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Madisonville KY at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Madisonville KY?
Madisonville is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Hopkins County, Kentucky, United States, located along Interstate 69 in the state's Western Coal Fields region. The population was 19,591 at the 2010 census. Madisonville is a commercial center of the region and is home to Madisonville Community College.
Hopkins County and Madisonville were divided by the Civil War. Union supporters joined a regiment recruited locally by James Shackleford; Al Fowler recruited Confederate troops. The courthouse in Madisonville was burned by Confederates led by Gen. Hylan B. Lyon on December 17, 1864, as they passed through western Kentucky. While Kentucky remained a Union state, the policies imposed by Union armies in the area caused resentment and sparked sympathy for the Confederate cause.
Farming was the major occupation in Hopkins County for most of the 1800s, with tobacco the leading crop. Around 1837 an outcropping of coal was discovered, and the first coal mine in the county opened in 1869. Mining did not become a major industry until the Louisville & Nashville Railroad pushed its line southward from Henderson through Madisonville and toward Nashville in 1870. By the early 1900s, Madisonville was a rail hub, coal mining center, and had a large tobacco market. This continued until the 1960s when manufacturing and service industries came to the area.
On November 15, 2005, a tornado ripped through the city, destroying some parts of it. The tornado began to form around 3:00 PM. The neighborhood near the Madisonville Country Club was greatly affected by the storm. The home of Madisonville resident and former Boston Celtics star Frank Ramsey was destroyed in the storm. Mayor Karen Cunningham ordered a curfew in parts of the city and declared a state of emergency.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist College near Madisonville KY
Picking the right dental hygienist program is crucial if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options offered to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Madisonville KY.
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