How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Somerville New Jersey
Selecting the right dental hygienist program near Somerville NJ is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, including the program’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 accomplish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Somerville NJ practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- 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 Exam in addition to passing any state licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Somerville NJ dental offices are usually required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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 practical aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist college might be a good option for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible via your personal computer in the comfort of your Somerville NJ home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to get the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist school is the best choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Somerville NJ, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options as well. Although these may be important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually 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 ensure that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Somerville NJ employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist programs have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Somerville NJ dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective way to obtain 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 working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need assistance landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Somerville NJ dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the programs you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate environment for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Somerville NJ dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Somerville NJ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Somerville NJ at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Somerville NJ?
Somerville, New Jersey
Somerville is a borough in Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 12,098, reflecting a decline of 325 (-2.6%) from the 12,423 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 791 (+6.8%) from the 11,632 counted in the 1990 Census. It is the county seat of Somerset County.
Somerville was originally formed as a town on March 25, 1863, within a portion of Bridgewater Township. Somerville was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 16, 1909, based on the results of a referendum held on May 4, 1909, at which point it was fully set off from Bridgewater Township.
Somerville was settled in colonial times primarily by the Dutch who purchased land from the English proprietors of the colony. The Dutch established their church near what is today Somerville and a Dutch Reformed minister or Domine lived at the Old Dutch Parsonage from about 1754. The early village grew up around a church, courthouse and a tavern built at a crossroads shortly after the American Revolution. The name "Somerville" was taken from four brothers of the Somerville family, William, Edward, John and James from Drishane and Castlehaven, County Cork, Ireland, who first founded the town in the 1750s. Somerville was originally a sparsely populated farming community, but rapidly grew after the completion of the railroad in the 1840s and development of water power along the Raritan River in the 1850s. Early industry included brick making from the plentiful red clay and shale on which Somerville is built. While much of the borough features distinctive Victorian architecture in several neighborhoods and along its Main Street, other periods are represented. National Register sites in Somerville include the white marble 1909 Somerville Court House and the wooden and stone colonial Wallace House (today a museum) where George Washington spent a winter during the American Revolutionary War. Near the Wallace House is the Old Dutch Parsonage, where Reverend Jacob Rutsen Hardenbergh, a founder and first president of Rutgers University, then called Queens College, lived. Register listed Victorian structures include the James Harper Smith Estate (privately owned), St. John's Episcopal Church and rectory, and the Fire Museum (a vintage fire house). Other notable, register eligible structures are the Victorian train station (privately owned) and the municipal building, the former Robert Mansion.
Originally the center of local commerce, the borough has evolved into a destination for boutique retail and dining. Modern highways today surround and traverse Somerville, including U.S. Route 22, U.S. Route 202, U.S. Route 206 and Route 28 and is within 5 miles (8.0 km) of Interstate 287 and Interstate 78, making it an important hub in central New Jersey.
Select the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Somerville NJ
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is essential if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives available to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions provided 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 Somerville NJ.
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