How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist School near Heath Springs South Carolina
Selecting the right dental hygienist school near Heath Springs SC is an essential first step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you need to assess 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 college that is nearest to your home. There are other important factors to consider as well, for instance the college’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these factors and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Heath Springs SC dentists and the practice. 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 every 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 may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 licensure examinations. Once 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 Education Options
Due to the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Heath Springs SC dental offices are usually 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 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 practical aspect to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist college may be a good alternative for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely 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 convenience of your Heath Springs SC home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the right option for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Heath Springs SC, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives as well. Although these may be important initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order 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 instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Heath Springs SC employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have associations with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Heath Springs SC dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best method to obtain 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 establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Heath Springs SC dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the colleges you are evaluating how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Heath Springs SC dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs 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 comparing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Heath Springs SC area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Heath Springs SC in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Heath Springs SC?
Heath Springs, South Carolina
As of the census of 2000, there were 864 people, 328 households, and 225 families residing in the town. The population density was 256.6/km² (667.1/sq mi). There were 366 housing units at an average density of 282.6 per square mile (108.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 48.38% White, 51.04% African American, 0.46% from other races, and 0.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.93% of the population.
There were 328 households out of which 26.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.0% were married couples living together, 19.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.1% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the town, the population was spread out with 22.8% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 22.2% from 25 to 44, 26.6% from 45 to 64, and 18.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females age 18 and under there were 80.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 75.1 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $24,000, and the median income for a family was $29,688. Males had a median income of $26,458 versus $20,463 for females. The per capita income for the town was $10,407. About 24.0% of families and 32.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.8% of those under age 18 and 42.3% of those age 65 or over.
Pick the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Heath Springs SC
Enrolling in the ideal dental hygienist course is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, technical institutes, trade schools and vocational schools. Graduates of these programs typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately two years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Heath Springs SC.
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