How to Pick a Dental Hygienist School near Murrells Inlet South Carolina
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist college near Murrells Inlet SC is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider also, for instance the program’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 accomplish. Naturally with the longer training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs available.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Murrells Inlet SC practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are usually the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting area. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out 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
- Educating patients regarding oral care
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate 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 examinations. When they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Murrells Inlet SC dental practices are usually 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 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| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training Programs
Choosing an online dental hygienist program may be a viable option for obtaining your training. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the comfort of your Murrells Inlet SC home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this method of learning, you may find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the right choice for you.
Subjects to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Murrells Inlet SC, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options also. Although these are important initial points to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to ask of the schools you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly 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 instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Murrells Inlet SC employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist schools have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the program you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Murrells Inlet SC dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental schools you are considering have internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to receive 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 establish professional relationships in the Murrells Inlet SC dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Help Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges need assistance getting their first job. Find out if the schools you are considering have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Murrells Inlet SC dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the programs you are interested in how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Murrells Inlet SC dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can vary in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Murrells Inlet SC area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Murrells Inlet SC at nights 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 policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to illness, work or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Murrells Inlet SC?
Murrells Inlet, South Carolina
Murrells Inlet is an unincorporated area and census-designated place straddling the line between Horry and Georgetown Counties in South Carolina, United States. The population was 7,547 at the 2010 census. The community was once primarily a fishing village, but has grown substantially in modern time, along with the rest of the Grand Strand, into a popular tourist and retirement location. It is most known for the Murrells Inlet Marshwalk, a 1⁄2-mile-long (0.8 km) boardwalk overlooking a salt marsh and which houses many restaurants.
Murrells Inlet is located in northeastern Georgetown County at 33°33′6″N 79°2′56″W / 33.55167°N 79.04889°W / 33.55167; -79.04889 (33.551593, -79.048794). The northern edge of the CDP follows the Horry County line. U.S. Route 17 (Ocean Highway) runs through the center of the community, leading northeast 13 miles (21 km) to Myrtle Beach and southwest 21 miles (34 km) to Georgetown, the seat of Georgetown County.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the Murrells Inlet CDP has a total area of 7.5 square miles (19.5 km2), of which 7.4 square miles (19.1 km2) are land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km2), or 2.21%, are water.
The land around Murrells Inlet has a record of settlement that goes back thousands of years, before written history, but evident in the shell mounds and archeological findings from the Atlantic Ocean to the Waccamaw River. The early inhabitants included the Waccamaw people, who took advantage of the natural resources provided by the creeks and rivers. Wachesaw is loosely translated as "Place of Great Weeping", in reference to the burial grounds. Indian burial mounds have been found along the high bluffs at Wachesaw that contained European beads, urns and other artifacts.
Pick the Right Dental Hygienist College near Murrells Inlet SC
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist course is crucial if you wish to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options offered to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these schools normally earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists typically require approximately 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When obtaining a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the best selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Murrells Inlet SC.
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