How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Program near Merrick New York
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist program near Merrick NY is an essential initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the training with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, for instance the college’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 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Duties of Dental Hygienists
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 in support of the Merrick NY practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination in addition to passing any state licensure exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Merrick NY 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 almost 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 clinical component to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Choosing an online dental hygienist college can be a viable alternative for getting your education. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be accessible via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Merrick NY home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the ideal choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Merrick NY, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives also. Although these are significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the schools 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 due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Merrick NY employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not available for non-accredited colleges.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist programs have associations with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Merrick NY dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective way to get 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 form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools require assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Merrick NY dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the schools you are looking at how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Merrick NY dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Merrick NY area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and need to attend classes near Merrick NY at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Merrick NY?
Merrick, New York
Merrick is a hamlet and census-designated place (CDP) in the Town of Hempstead in Nassau County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census[update], the CDP population was 22,097. The name Merrick is taken from Meroke, the name (meaning peaceful) of the Algonquian tribe formerly indigenous to the area. It is served by the Merrick station on the Long Island Rail Road on the Babylon line.
As of the census of 2000[update], there were 22,764 people, 7,524 households, and 6,478 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 5,423.3 per square mile (2,092.7/km²). There were 7,602 housing units at an average density of 1,811.1/sq mi (698.8/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 95.2% White, 1.0% African American, 0.10% Native American, 2.24% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.94% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.70% of the population.[needs update]
There were 7,524 households out of which 42.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 76.0% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 13.9% were non-families. 11.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.02 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 27.5% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 27.7% from 25 to 44, 26.7% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.8 males.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Merrick NY
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist course is essential if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Merrick NY.
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