How to Select a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Garner North Carolina
Picking the right dental hygienist school near Garner NC is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the training with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to consider also, such as the college’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 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Garner NC practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their results to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing 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 examinations. After 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 Education Options
Due to the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Garner NC dental practices are often 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 complete 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 practical component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist school might be a viable alternative for obtaining your education. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Garner NC home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can usually be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to get the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of education, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the ideal option for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Garner NC, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online alternatives also. Although these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the programs 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 final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Garner NC employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important part of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist programs have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind 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 program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Garner NC dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to get 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 develop working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools need assistance getting their first job. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Garner NC dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Check with the schools you are interested in how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Garner NC dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial 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 analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Garner NC area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and must attend classes near Garner NC at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, 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 Garner NC?
Garner, North Carolina
Garner is a town in Wake County, North Carolina, United States and a suburb of Raleigh. The city limits are entirely within Wake County, though portions of unincorporated Wake County, as well as the Cleveland community in northern Johnston County have Garner mailing addresses. The population was estimated to be 27,814 as of July 1, 2014. It is part of the Research Triangle region of North Carolina and serves as a bedroom community for the region.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 14.8 square miles (38.3 km2), of which 14.7 square miles (38.2 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.34%, is water.
Garner is located entirely within Wake County. There are unincorporated areas of Wake County and Johnston County that have Garner postal addresses, including a portion of the unincorporated, but densely populated, Cleveland Community.
As of the census of 2000, there were 17,757 people, 6,950 households, and 4,830 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,385.1 people per square mile (534.8/km²). There were 7,252 housing units at an average density of 565.7 per square mile (218.4/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 67.02% White, 27.13% African American, 0.41% Native American, 1.11% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.77% from other races, and 1.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.75% of the population.
Select the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Garner NC
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program is imperative if you want 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 acquire your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend 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 choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Garner NC.
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