How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Henderson North Carolina
Selecting the right dental hygienist school near Henderson NC is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than selecting the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, such as the college’s accreditation and reputation. 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 accomplish. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Henderson NC practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the first person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums 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
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in almost 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. When 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 Training Options
As a result of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Henderson NC dental practices are generally 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 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| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college may be a good alternative for obtaining 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 by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Henderson NC home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more accessible. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the ideal option for you.
Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Henderson NC, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they search for several online options as well. Although these are important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the schools you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the education you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Henderson NC employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Henderson NC dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Verify if the dental schools you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the Henderson NC dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools require help getting their first job. Find out if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Henderson NC dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Check with the colleges you are evaluating how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Henderson NC dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Henderson NC area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Henderson NC in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Henderson NC?
Henderson, North Carolina
The city was named in honor of former North Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Leonard Henderson, who lived nearby and was a friend of early settler Lewis Reavis. Henderson was officially chartered by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1841.
Ashland, Henderson Central Business Historic District, Henderson Fire Station and Municipal Building, Library and Laboratory Building-Henderson Institute, Mistletoe Villa, Maria Parham Hospital, Daniel Stone Plank House, Vance County Courthouse, West End School, Zollicoffer's Law Office, and Barker House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
As of the census of 2000, there were 16,095 people, 6,332 households, and 4,122 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,953.7 people per square mile (754.2/km²). There were 6,870 housing units at an average density of 833.9 per square mile (321.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 59.17% African American, 32.76% White, 0.27% Native American, 0.64% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 2.36% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.13% of the population.
There were 6,332 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.1% were married couples living together, 26.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.9% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.05.
Pick the Ideal Dental Hygienist College near Henderson NC
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial 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 many alternatives available to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing 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 commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Henderson NC.
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