How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Georgetown South Carolina
Picking the right dental hygienist program near Georgetown SC is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must assess and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your home. There are other crucial factors to take into account as well, for instance 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 accomplish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will talk about all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role 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 assists the Georgetown SC dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Educating patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 Exam as well as any state licensing exams. After they have completed these requirements they are considered 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 Georgetown SC dental practices are usually 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 finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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 practical aspect to the training as well| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist college may be a great option for receiving your education. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Georgetown SC home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition costs than their on-campus counterparts. And supplementary expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced as well. The practical training can usually be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online college is the best option for you.
Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Georgetown SC, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online options also. Although these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the programs you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. In order 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 training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Georgetown SC employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, often they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you choose provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Georgetown SC dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective means 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 create professional relationships in the Georgetown SC dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need help landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Georgetown SC dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Check with the colleges you are evaluating how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Georgetown SC dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Georgetown SC area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Georgetown SC at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Georgetown SC?
Georgetown, South Carolina
Georgetown is the third oldest city in the U.S. state of South Carolina and the county seat of Georgetown County, in the Lowcountry. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 9,163. Located on Winyah Bay at the confluence of the Black, Great Pee Dee, Waccamaw, and Sampit rivers, Georgetown is the second largest seaport in South Carolina, handling over 960,000 tons of materials a year. Georgetown is also the birthplace of former First Lady Michelle Obama's grandfather, Fraser Robinson. Many of Michelle Obama's relatives still reside in Georgetown.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.5 square miles (19.5 km2), of which 6.9 square miles (17.9 km2) are land and 0.62 square miles (1.6 km2), or 8.06%, is water.
Winyah Bay was formed from a submergent or drowned coastline. The original rivers had a lower baseline, but either the ocean rose or the land sank, flooding the river valleys and making a good location for a harbor.
U.S. Routes 17, 17A, 521, and 701 meet in the center of Georgetown. US 17 leads southwest 60 miles (97 km) to Charleston and northeast 34 miles (55 km) to Myrtle Beach, US 701 leads north 36 miles (58 km) to Conway, US 521 leads northwest 82 miles (132 km) to Sumter, and US 17A leads west 32 miles (51 km) to Jamestown.
Find the Best Dental Hygienist School near Georgetown SC
Choosing the right dental hygienist course is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several options available to receive your education and it takes a relatively 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 schools usually earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require about 2 years of studies before they enter the job market. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Georgetown SC.
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