How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Narragansett Rhode Island
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Narragansett RI is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to consider also, such as the program’s reputation and accreditation. 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 accomplish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Narragansett RI practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth 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
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients about oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing 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 licensure exams. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as 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 Narragansett RI dental offices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete 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 aspect to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist school may be a great option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Narragansett RI home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition costs than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can often be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to obtain the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist school is the ideal option for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Narragansett RI, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they look for some online alternatives also. Although these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost 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 instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Narragansett RI employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist colleges have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you select offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Narragansett RI dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are exploring sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for 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 Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Narragansett RI dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Small? Check with the schools you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Narragansett RI dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Narragansett RI area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to verify that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Narragansett RI in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need 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 issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Narragansett RI?
Narragansett, Rhode Island
Narragansett is a town in Washington County, Rhode Island, United States. The population was 15,868 at the 2010 census. However, during the summer months the town's population more than doubles to near 34,000. The town is colloquially known as "Gansett". The town of Narragansett occupies a narrow strip of land running along the eastern bank of the Pettaquamscutt River to the shore of Narragansett Bay. It was separated from South Kingstown in 1888, and incorporated as a town in 1901.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 37.8 square miles (98 km2), of which, 14.1 square miles (37 km2) of it is land and 23.6 square miles (61 km2) of it (62.56%) is water.
The following villages and neighborhoods are wholly or partially located in Narragansett: Saunderstown (shared with North Kingstown), South Ferry, Bonnet Shores, Narragansett Pier, Point Judith, Galilee, Great Island, Salt Pond, Mettatuxet, and Jerusalem (shared with South Kingstown).
As of the census of 2000, there were 16,361 people, 6,846 households, and 3,847 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,156.5 people per square mile (446.4/km²). There were 9,159 housing units at an average density of 647.4 per square mile (249.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.84% White, 0.75% African American, 0.90% Native American, 0.76% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 1.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.25% of the population.
Select the Best Dental Hygienist Program near Narragansett RI
Picking the ideal dental hygienist program 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 several options offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short period 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 schools usually receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require approximately two years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Narragansett RI.
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