How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Program near Elizabethtown New York
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Elizabethtown NY is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other significant factors to take into account also, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. 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 finish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these factors and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job 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 assists the Elizabethtown NY practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 Examination as well as any state licensure exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Elizabethtown NY dental offices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Colleges
Selecting an online dental hygienist school might be a viable alternative for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Elizabethtown NY home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the right option for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Elizabethtown NY, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives also. Although these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Elizabethtown NY employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist schools have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the college you select offers enough 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, make sure that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Elizabethtown NY dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental schools you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the Elizabethtown NY dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require assistance getting their first job. Ask if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Elizabethtown NY dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the programs you are interested in how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Elizabethtown NY dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Elizabethtown NY area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and have to attend classes near Elizabethtown NY in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in 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 have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Elizabethtown NY?
Elizabethtown, New York
Elizabethtown is a town in Essex County, New York, United States. The population was 1,163 at the 2010 census. The county seat of Essex County is the hamlet of Elizabethtown, located in the northern part of the town. The name is derived from Elizabeth Gilliland, the wife of an early settler.
Elizabethtown is in the east-central part of Essex County. It is 39 miles (63 km) southwest of Burlington, Vermont, 104 miles (167 km) south of Montreal, Quebec, and 117 miles (188 km) north of Albany, New York. The town calls itself the "Pleasant Valley".
The town of Elizabethtown was established in 1798 from the town of Crown Point. The community of Elizabethtown in this town became the county seat, succeeding a location in the town of Essex. Parts of the town were used to form the towns of Moriah (1808), Keene (1898), and Westport (1815).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 83.1 square miles (215.3 km2), of which 81.6 square miles (211.4 km2) is land and 1.5 square miles (3.8 km2), or 1.78%, is water.
Pick the Best Dental Hygienist College near Elizabethtown NY
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program is important if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous options offered to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies prior to entering the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. 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 appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Elizabethtown NY.
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