How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near Hickory North Carolina
Picking the right dental hygienist school near Hickory NC is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account also, including the college’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 finish. Obviously with the longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss 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 look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Hickory NC dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are typically 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 may also perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing exams. When they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Hickory NC dental practices are often required to hold 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 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.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist program may be a viable option for obtaining your education. Just keep in mind 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 provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Hickory NC home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical 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 obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of education, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist program is the best choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Hickory NC, you can begin the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives as well. Although these are significant initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Hickory NC employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. A number of dental hygienist programs have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Hickory NC dental practice that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are considering have an internship program. Internships are probably the best means to obtain 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 form professional relationships in the Hickory NC dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs need assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the programs you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Hickory NC dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classrooms Small? Find out from the schools you are evaluating how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a few classes at the Hickory NC dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses 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 schools, remember to include all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Hickory NC area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and must attend classes near Hickory NC at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online program, 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 have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Hickory NC?
Hickory, North Carolina
Hickory is a city located primarily in Catawba County, North Carolina, with parts in adjoining Burke and Caldwell counties. The city's population at the 2010 census was 40,010, with an estimated population in 2015 of 40,374. Hickory is the principal city in the Hickory–Lenoir–Morganton MSA, in which the population at the 2010 census was 365,497 and is included as part of the Charlotte–Concord Combined Statistical Area.
In the 1850s, under a huge hickory tree, Henry Robinson built a tavern of logs. The city of "Hickory Tavern" co-founded by "Dolph" Shuford, was established in 1863, and the name was eventually changed to the city of Hickory in 1873.
The first train operated in the city of "Hickory Tavern" in 1859. The first lot was sold to Henry Link for $45.00 in 1858. His house is now known as "The 1859 Cafe", a restaurant (closed in 2011). The community of Hickory was the first for many things in North Carolina, including the council-manager form of government it adopted in 1913. Hickory was also one of the first towns to install electric lights in 1888 and a complete sewage system in 1904.
Hickory is home to one of the oldest furniture manufacturers in the United States that is still located and operated on the original site. Hickory White, formerly known as Hickory Manufacturing Company, was built in 1902 and has been in continuous operation ever since. During World War II, the factory made ammunition boxes for the U.S. military instead of furniture.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist College near Hickory NC
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program is important if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several options available to acquire 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 junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs generally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly two years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect 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 better prepared to make the best selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Hickory NC.
More Great Cities in North Carolina
Business Results 1 - 10 of 4