How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Shepherdsville Kentucky
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program near Shepherdsville KY is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to take into account also, 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 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges 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 Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Shepherdsville KY dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each 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 plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- 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 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 licensure examinations. Once 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 Training Options
Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Shepherdsville KY dental offices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require 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 technical 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.
Online Dental Hygienist Classes
Choosing an online dental hygienist college may be a great alternative for obtaining your training. Just remember that the classes 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 comfort of your Shepherdsville KY home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the ideal choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Shepherdsville KY, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online options also. Even though these are important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Shepherdsville KY employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist programs have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you select offers enough 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, make sure that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Shepherdsville KY dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal means to receive 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 develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist colleges need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Shepherdsville KY dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the colleges you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Shepherdsville KY dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Shepherdsville KY area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Shepherdsville KY at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Shepherdsville KY?
Shepherdsville is a home rule-class city on the Salt River in Bullitt County, Kentucky, in the United States. It is the seat of its county, located just south of Louisville. The population was 11,222 during the 2010 U.S. Census.
The vicinity was originally known by European Americans as "Bullitt's Lick" for the salt licks discovered by surveyor Capt. Thomas Bullitt in 1773. The area was home to Kentucky's first commercial salt works. These were shuttered in the 1830s because of competition from Virginian works along the Kanawha River (now in West Virginia). Shepherdsville developed around the mill and store erected along the Salt River by Adam Shepherd, who had purchased 900 acres (360 ha) in the area. The city received its charter in 1793 and was designated as the county seat when Bullitt County was formed in 1796.
The first post office opened in 1806. In 1836, a mineral water spa called Paroquet Springs opened. The mineral water was believed to have medicinal properties, so sufferers from a variety of maladies visited Shepherdsville to drink and bathe in the water. In the mid-1850s, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad's mainline was constructed nearby.
During the Civil War, the railroad bridge over the Salt River at Shepherdsville was a potential target for sabotage and was guarded by Union troops. In 1879 shortly after the formal end of Reconstruction, the Paroquet Springs hotel burned to the ground. Water from the springs continued to be bottled and sold until 1915.
Enroll in the Right Dental Hygienist School near Shepherdsville KY
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is imperative if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous options available to receive your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Shepherdsville KY.
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