How to Pick a Dental Hygienist Program near Irmo South Carolina
Selecting the right dental hygienist school near Irmo SC is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the program with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the college that is nearest to your residence. There are other crucial issues to take into account also, including the school’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 2 to 3 years to finish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are reviewing 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 most significant difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Irmo SC practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients regarding oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed 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 in addition to passing any state licensing exams. When 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 additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Irmo SC dental practices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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| Some programs also sponsor internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school might be a viable alternative for getting your training. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Irmo SC home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is provided. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the best choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Irmo SC, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives as well. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Irmo SC employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Many 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 program you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Irmo SC dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental colleges you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the Irmo SC dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need assistance landing their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Irmo SC dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the schools you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Irmo SC dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial 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 analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Irmo SC area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to verify that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near Irmo SC in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Irmo SC?
Irmo, South Carolina
Irmo is a town in Lexington and Richland counties, South Carolina, United States and a suburb of Columbia. It is part of the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area and is located 12 miles (19 km) northwest of the city center. The population of Irmo was 11,097 at the 2010 census.
Irmo was chartered on Christmas Eve in 1890 in response to the opening of the Columbia, Newberry and Laurens Railroad. The name of Irmo was the result of combining the names of Captain C.J. Iredell and Henry Moseley, two important figures in the founding of the town. Despite the town's growth, Irmo does not have an actual downtown area. Rather, it consists of several clusters of suburban neighborhoods. Columbiana Centre mall was built in 1990, which led to the growth of the Harbison area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,039 people, 3,911 households, and 3,163 families residing in the town. The population density was 2,670.2 people per square mile (1,032.0/km2). There were 4,066 housing units at an average density of 983.5 per square mile (380.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 76.76% White, 20.16% African American, 0.25% Native American, 1.43% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 0.44% from other races, and 0.88% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.42% of the population.
There were 3,911 households out of which 47.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.9% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.1% were non-families. 15.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 2.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.15.
Enroll in the Best Dental Hygienist College near Irmo SC
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program is crucial if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are several alternatives offered to obtain your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require roughly 2 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 choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Irmo SC.
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Morrissey was a co-author of a study last year that estimated 8% of dental hygienists left the workforce in 2020. A year later, some had returned. But hygienist Sarah Crow, who's the president of the Massachusetts Dental Hygienist Association, says many of her older colleagues aren't coming back.