How to Select a Dental Hygienist College near Slocum Rhode Island
Choosing the right dental hygienist program near Slocum RI is an important first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider also, for instance the school’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these concerns 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 roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Function of Dental Hygienists
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 Slocum RI practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral care
- 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 Examination as well as any state licensure exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Due to the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Slocum RI dental practices are often required to have 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 nearly 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 clinical component to the training as well| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school might be a good alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the comfort of your Slocum RI home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition fees than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the best choice for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Slocum RI, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Possibly they look for several online options also. Although these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the programs you are reviewing 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 right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are many important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school 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. Slocum RI employers often desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist colleges have associations with regional dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in offers adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Slocum RI dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to get hands-on, practical 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 build professional relationships in the Slocum RI dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools need assistance landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Slocum RI dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the colleges you are reviewing how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a few classes at the Slocum RI dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Slocum RI area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and must attend classes near Slocum RI in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, 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 need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Slocum RI?
Samuel Slocum (March 4, 1792 - January 26, 1861), was an American inventor from Poughkeepsie, New York. He was born in Jamestown, RI, son of Peleg Slocum and Anne Dyer Slocum. He was raised in Usquepaugh, RI, a village in South Kingstown, RI, where a Mr. William Lockwood sometime after 1772, first invented the common pin with a head, to keep it from slipping through cloth. Samuel was the 6th of 8 children. He worked as a carpenter before he decided to move to London and become a pin maker. He married Susan Stanton Slocum in 1817 at Richmond, RI, and had three children, Samuel Dyer Slocum, Mary Slocum, and John Stanton Slocum.
A short time later he moved back to the United States, to Poughkeepsie, NY and formed a pin manufacturing company, Slocum and Jillson, which invented a "Machine for Sticking Pins into Paper", which is often believed to be the first stapler. In fact, this patent from September 30, 1841, Patent #2275, is for a device used for packaging pins.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Slocum RI
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 offered to receive your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 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 addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Slocum RI.
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