How to Pick a Dental Hygienist College near Seneca Falls New York
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Seneca Falls NY is an essential initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the college with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to take into account also, 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 cover all of these concerns and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Seneca Falls NY practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost 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. When 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
Because of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Seneca Falls NY dental offices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require 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 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 practical component to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Choosing an online dental hygienist college may be a viable alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the convenience of your Seneca Falls NY home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more accessible. Many may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened also. The clinical training can often be performed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the best option for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Seneca Falls NY, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many students begin by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they look for several online options as well. Even though these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Seneca Falls NY employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist schools have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Seneca Falls NY dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the best method 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 form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need help obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Seneca Falls NY dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the programs you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Seneca Falls NY dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, don’t forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Seneca Falls NY area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Seneca Falls 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 addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Seneca Falls NY?
Seneca County, New York
Seneca County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. As of the 2010 census, the population was 35,251. The primary county seat is Waterloo, moved there from the original county seat of Ovid in 1819. It became a two-shire county in 1822, which currently remains in effect, using both locations as county seats although the majority of Seneca County administrative offices are located in Waterloo. Therefore, most political sources only list Waterloo as the county seat. The county's name is from the Iroquois (Seneca) that occupied part of the region.
The area covered by Seneca County straddles the prehistoric territories of both Seneca and Cayuga Nations of the Iroquois League. When counties were established by Europeans in New York in 1683, the present-day Seneca County was part of Albany County. This was an enormous county, including the northern part of New York as well as all of the present state of Vermont and, in theory, extending westward to the Pacific Ocean. This county was reduced in size on July 3, 1766 by the creation of Cumberland County, and further on March 16, 1770 by the creation of Gloucester County, both containing territory now in Vermont.
On March 12, 1772, what was left of Albany County was split into three parts, one remaining under the name Albany County. One of the other pieces, Tryon County, contained the western portion (and thus, since no western boundary was specified, theoretically still extended west to the Pacific). The eastern boundary of Tryon County was approximately five miles west of the present city of Schenectady, and the county included the western part of the Adirondack Mountains and the area west of the West Branch of the Delaware River. The area then designated as Tryon County now includes 37 counties of New York State. The county was named for William Tryon, colonial governor of New York.
In the years prior to 1776, most of the Loyalists in Tryon County fled to Canada. In the fall of 1779 on orders from commander-in-chief General George Washington the Sullivan Expedition conducted a scorched earth campaign against the Iroquois who sided with the Loyalists in the Revolutionary War. Sullivan's path destroyed Cayuga and Seneca villages along the east shore of Seneca Lake.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Seneca Falls NY
Picking the ideal dental hygienist course is crucial if you wish 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 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 programs normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning 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 right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Seneca Falls NY.
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