How to Select a Dental Hygienist Program near Houma Louisiana
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Houma LA is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your home. There are other significant factors to consider as well, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. 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 complete. Obviously with the prolonged training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
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 Houma LA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their results 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
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing 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. After they have fulfilled 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
As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Houma LA 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 virtually every state. They are offered in community colleges as well as trade and technical schools. And in addition to classroom studies learning the fundamentals of dental hygiene, there will be a practical component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Choosing an online dental hygienist school can be a viable option for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your Houma LA home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can usually be performed 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 furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the ideal option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Houma LA, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online alternatives as well. Even though these may be important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Houma LA employers typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist schools have partnerships with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Houma LA dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to receive 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 form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs need assistance landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Houma LA dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the schools you are evaluating how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Houma LA dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Houma LA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must go to classes near Houma LA at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, 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 need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Houma LA?
Houma (/ˈhoʊmə/ HOH-mə) is the largest city in and the parish seat of Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, United States and the largest principal city of the Houma–Bayou Cane–Thibodaux Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city's powers of government have been absorbed by the parish, which is now run by the Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government. The population was 33,727 at the 2010 census, an increase of 1,334 over the 2000 tabulation of 32,393.
Many unincorporated areas are adjacent to the city of Houma. The largest, Bayou Cane, is an urbanized area commonly referred to by locals as being part of Houma, but it is not included in the city's census counts, and is a separate census-designated place. If the populations of the urbanized census-designated places were included with that of the city of Houma, the total would exceed 60,000 residents. The city was named after the historic Native American tribe of Houma people, believed to be related to the Choctaw. The United Houma Nation Tribe is recognized by the state of Louisiana, but it has not achieved federal recognition.
Houma was founded by European Americans in 1834 at a former settlement of the Houma people, who historically occupied this area. The city was named after them. The city was incorporated in 1848. The United Houma Nation and two other Houma tribes have been recognized by the state. Houma is rated as a medium-size city.
The area was developed for sugar cane plantations in the antebellum years. These were worked primarily by large numbers of enslaved African Americans, as sugar cane cultivation and processing was highly labor intensive. Plantations were sited along the rivers and bayous in order to have access to water transportation.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Houma LA
Selecting the right dental hygienist program is imperative 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 a number of options available to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Houma LA.
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