How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Slidell Louisiana
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Slidell LA is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than selecting the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to consider also, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to accomplish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Slidell LA dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Slidell LA dental practices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 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 clinical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist college may be a good alternative for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Slidell LA home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Some 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 also. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the ideal option for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Slidell LA, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they look for several online alternatives as well. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college 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. Slidell LA employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist schools have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Slidell LA dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools require help getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Slidell LA dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the schools you are interested in 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. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Slidell LA dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Slidell LA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Slidell LA in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Slidell LA?
Slidell /slaɪˈdɛl/ is a city on the northeast shore of Lake Pontchartrain in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 27,068 at the 2010 census. Greater Slidell has a population of about 90,000. It is part of the New Orleans−Metairie−Kenner Metropolitan Statistical Area.
One of the earlier settlers to the area was John William Gause. Along with a younger brother, Wesley Coke Asbury Gause, Judge Wingate, and several others, he left Shallotte, North Carolina, on February 18, and arrived at Pearlington, Mississippi, on April 14, 1836. Wesley and his family remained there, while John and family crossed the Pearl River and built a log cabin on the west bank, a little further south. He then began a lumber mill in the fledgling town later known as Slidell. His traveling back and forth from lumber yard to home created a road known today as Gause Boulevard, a major east/west street in the town. The lumber yard was where Gause Boulevard crosses the railroad track. The log cabin was built at the east end of the road, just a few yards from the river. The house stood until the late 1990s, and a small family burial plot still remains where John is buried between his two wives, Lydia Russ and Johanna Frederica VanHeemskerk.
Slidell was founded on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain in 1882 and 1883 during construction of the New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad (N.O.N.E.). The N.O.N.E. line connected New Orleans to Meridian, Mississippi. The town was named in honor of American politician and Confederate ambassador to France John Slidell, father-in-law of real estate developer Baron Frederic Emile d'Erlanger, and officially chartered by the Louisiana State Legislature in 1888.
Around 1910, Slidell began a period of economic and industrial growth. A large creosote plant was built, and Slidell became home to the Fritz Salmen Brickyard, a major producer of bricks later named St. Joe Brick. A lumber mill and shipyard were also built. Following the construction of Interstate 10, Interstate 59, and Interstate 12, Slidell became a major crossroads for those traversing the Gulf States.
Enroll in the Ideal Dental Hygienist Program near Slidell LA
Selecting the right dental hygienist course is imperative if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Slidell LA.
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