How to Select a Dental Hygienist College near Kirtland Afb New Mexico
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Kirtland Afb NM is an essential first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than picking the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists usually 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 longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Function of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties 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 Kirtland Afb NM practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing examinations. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Kirtland Afb NM dental practices are normally 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 finish 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 clinical aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college can be a good alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Kirtland Afb NM home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. 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 obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the right choice for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Kirtland Afb NM, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they search for several online options also. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are reviewing in order to arrive at an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Kirtland Afb NM employers typically prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential portion of every dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist programs have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you select provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Kirtland Afb NM dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to obtain hands-on, practical 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 too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Kirtland Afb NM dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Find out from the programs you are looking at how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal environment for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Kirtland Afb NM dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Kirtland Afb NM area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Kirtland Afb NM in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Kirtland Afb NM?
Kirtland Air Force Base
Kirtland Air Force Base (IATA: ABQ, ICAO: KABQ) is a United States Air Force base located in the southeast quadrant of the Albuquerque, New Mexico urban area, adjacent to the Albuquerque International Sunport. The base was named for the early Army aviator Col. Roy C. Kirtland. The military and the international airport share the same runways, making ABQ a joint civil-military airport.
Kirtland AFB is the largest installation in Air Force Global Strike Command and sixth largest in the Air Force. The base occupies 51,558 acres and employs over 23,000 people, including more than 4,200 active duty and 1,000 Guard, plus 3,200 part-time Reserve personnel. In 2000, Kirtland AFB’s economic impact on the City of Albuquerque was over $2.7 billion.
Kirtland is the home of the Air Force Materiel Command's Nuclear Weapons Center (NWC). The NWC's responsibilities include acquisition, modernization and sustainment of nuclear system programs for both the Department of Defense and Department of Energy.The NWC is composed of two wings–the 377th Air Base Wing and 498th Nuclear Systems Wing–along with ten groups and 7 squadrons.
Kirtland is home to the 58th Special Operations Wing (58 SOW), an Air Education and Training Command (AETC) unit that provides formal aircraft type/model/series training. The 58 SOW operates the HC-130J, MC-130J, UH-1N Huey, HH-60G Pave Hawk and CV-22 Osprey aircraft. Headquarters, Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center is also located at Kirtland AFB. The 150th Special Operations Wing of the New Mexico Air National Guard, an Air Combat Command (ACC)-gained unit, is also home-based at Kirtland.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Kirtland Afb NM
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is crucial if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are many alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs generally receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. 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 better prepared to make the best choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Kirtland Afb NM.
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