How to Select a Dental Hygienist School near Washington New Jersey
Choosing the right dental hygienist program near Washington NJ is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider also, including 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 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties 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 undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Washington NJ dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost 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 as well as any state licensing examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Washington NJ dental offices are normally 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 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 Training
Selecting an online dental hygienist school may be a good alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your Washington NJ home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can usually be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the best option for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Washington NJ, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives as well. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the schools you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement 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 establish that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Washington NJ employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you choose offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Washington NJ dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to get 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 create working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools need assistance getting their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Washington NJ dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Find out from the schools you are looking at how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal environment for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Washington NJ dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant 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 comparing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Washington NJ area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near Washington NJ at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Washington NJ?
Washington, New Jersey
Washington is a borough in Warren County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 6,461, reflecting a decline of 251 (-3.7%) from the 6,712 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 238 (+3.7%) from the 6,474 counted in the 1990 Census. The borough is located in the eastern most region of the Lehigh Valley.
Washington was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 20, 1868, from portions of Washington Township. The borough was named for George Washington, one of more than ten communities statewide named for the first president. The Borough of Washington is surrounded by Washington Township, which is one of five municipalities in the state of New Jersey with the name "Washington Township".
Washington Borough separated from Washington Township as of February 20, 1868. The community grew during the 19th century as a result of the transportation routes that ran through or near the borough. The Morris Canal ran along the north end of town and two rail lines of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad crossed within the borough. Intersecting in the center of the borough are two major roadways, which today are Route 31 and Route 57. The borough was ultimately named for the "Washington House", a tavern built by Revolutionary War Col. William McCullough in 1811 that was later destroyed by fire in 1869.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the borough became a mecca of musical instruments manufacturers, the manufacture of organs in particular. A bustling downtown developed around these businesses. Many of the Victorian style houses in the borough, as well as Taylor Street School and Warren Hills Middle School (formerly Washington High School) were built during this period.
Choose the Right Dental Hygienist College near Washington NJ
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial 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 options available to receive your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing 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 begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Washington NJ.
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