How to Select a Dental Hygienist College near Marion South Carolina
Picking the ideal dental hygienist college near Marion SC is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must assess and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than picking the school with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the school that is closest to your home. There are other important factors to consider as well, for instance the program’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 two to three years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will talk about all of these factors and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the duties of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Marion SC practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting 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 every patient’s teeth and gums and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Marion SC dental practices are generally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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 aspect to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist college can be a great option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the comfort of your Marion SC home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. 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 required to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the right option for you.
Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Marion SC, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for several online alternatives as well. Even though these are significant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished 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 valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Marion SC employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This applies for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist programs have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you choose offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Marion SC dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective means to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Offered? Many graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require help landing their first job. Check if the schools you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Marion SC dental community as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Ask the programs you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Marion SC dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost depending on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and whether they are private or public also have an impact. But along with 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 materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Marion SC area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to attend classes near Marion SC at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Marion SC?
Marion, South Carolina
Marion is a city in Marion County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 6,711 at the 2016 census. It is the county seat of Marion County. It is named for Francis Marion, a Brigadier General from South Carolina in the American Revolutionary War.
Some sixty years after the first permanent settlement in South Carolina, a group of English settlers sent out by the Lords Proprietor landed in Georgetown and moved up the Pee Dee River to the junction of the Little Pee Dee River about half way between Georgetown and the present town of Marion. Among these families were Brittons, Davis, Flaglers, Giles, Graves and Tyler. At about the same time, and maybe on the same ship from England, came Captain John Godbold, a retired English sea captain. He moved farther up the Big Pee Dee and settled on Catfish Creek. The creek is southwest of and very near to the present city limits of Marion.
During its early colonial years the area was part of Craven County. When Craven was divided, this segment of land was placed in Georgetown District. In 1785, another division was made and the name "Liberty" was used for a short time to designate this area.
On December 17, 1847, when by an act of the South Carolina Legislature a charter was issued to the town, its official name was given as "Marion". The name honors General Francis Marion, a hero of the Revolutionary War.
Find the Ideal Dental Hygienist School near Marion SC
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist program is imperative if you intend to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives available to obtain your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be in a better position to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Marion SC.
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