How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Astoria New York
Choosing the right dental hygienist college near Astoria NY is an important first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account also, for instance the college’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to finish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Astoria NY practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report 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
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed 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. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Astoria NY dental practices are usually 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 finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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 component to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist college can be a good alternative for getting your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Astoria NY home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the ideal choice for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Astoria NY, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives as well. Although these may be significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to 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 help you with your evaluation and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Astoria NY employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Astoria NY dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the Astoria NY dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require help getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Astoria NY dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Check with the colleges you are evaluating how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal environment for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Astoria NY dental hygienist school 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 Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Astoria NY area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Astoria NY in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Astoria NY?
Astoria is a middle-class and commercial neighborhood with a population of 78,793 in the northwestern corner of the New York City borough of Queens. Located in Community Board 1, Astoria is bounded by the East River and is adjacent to three other Queens neighborhoods: Long Island City, Sunnyside (bordering at Northern Boulevard), and Woodside (bordering at 50th Street). Astoria is patrolled by the New York City Police Department's 114th Precinct.
The area now known as Astoria was originally called Hallett's Cove, after its first landowner William Hallett, who settled there in 1652 with his wife, Elizabeth Fones. Beginning in the early 19th century, affluent New Yorkers constructed large residences around 12th and 14th streets, an area that later became known as Astoria Village (now Old Astoria). Hallett's Cove, incorporated on April 12, 1839 and previously founded by fur merchant Stephen A. Halsey, was a noted recreational destination and resort for Manhattan's wealthy.
The area was renamed for John Jacob Astor, then the wealthiest man in America with a net worth of over $40 million, in order to persuade him to invest in the neighborhood. He only invested $500, but the name stayed nonetheless, as a bitter battle over naming the village finally was won by Astor's supporters and friends. From Astor's summer home in Hell Gate, Manhattan—on what is now East 87th Street near York Avenue—he could see across the East River the new Long Island village named in his honor. Astor, however, never actually set foot in Astoria.
During the second half of the 19th century, economic and commercial growth brought increased immigration from German settlers, mostly furniture and cabinet makers. One such settler was Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg, patriarch of the Steinway family who founded the piano company Steinway & Sons in 1853, which today is a worldwide piano company. Later on the Steinways built a sawmill and foundry, as well as a streetcar line. The family eventually established Steinway Village for their workers, a company town that provided school instruction in German as well as English. Part of the motivation for locating the Steinway factory in Queens was to keep the workers isolated from the ferment of labor organizing and radicalism occurring in other parts of New York, notably the Lower East Side.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Astoria NY
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of options offered to receive 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, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these schools generally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Astoria NY.
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