How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near Waynesville Illinois
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program near Waynesville IL is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than choosing the program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is closest to your residence. There are other important issues to consider also, such as the college’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists generally earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will discuss all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties 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 most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and assists the Waynesville IL practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are typically the initial person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
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 also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing exams. When they have fulfilled these requirements they are considered fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Waynesville IL dental practices 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually 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 clinical component to the training as well| Some programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Schools
Choosing an online dental hygienist program can be a good alternative for getting your education. Just remember that the program will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Waynesville IL home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental classes make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition costs than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses such as for commuting, books and school supplies may be reduced also. The practical training can typically be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to get the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the best choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Waynesville IL, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for some online alternatives also. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in virtually all states. To qualify 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 get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Waynesville IL employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited schools.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist schools have relationships with area dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Waynesville IL dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal way to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build professional relationships in the Waynesville IL dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require help landing their first job. Ask if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Waynesville IL dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the colleges you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more personal atmosphere for training where students have increased access to the instructors. On the other hand, bigger classes can be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Waynesville IL dental hygienist college that you are most interested in in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 programs, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Waynesville IL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Waynesville IL at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Waynesville IL?
Waynesville is one of the oldest settlements in central Illinois. The area was first settled around 1825, by Prettyman Marvel and his wife, Rebecca (Barr) Marvel. They cleared an area of land near the present location of the village and were followed shortly thereafter by several other settlers. As a result, a small settlement sprung up about a mile south of Kickapoo Creek.
In 1832, the first plats for the village were filed, and the name "Waynesville" (after the hero of the Revolutionary War, General Anthony Wayne) was selected. Town lots were auctioned off, and the sale announced in newspapers. However, economic circumstances meant that few lots were ever built upon. Within two or three decades, the village had reached a population of about 500, a figure where it would remain almost until the present.
Sadly, Waynesville, although one of the first villages in the area, never became a prominent one. When the new county of Dewitt was established in 1839, Waynesville found itself at the far northwest corner, and thus out of the running for county seat. As well, influential politicians in Bloomington and Clinton managed to have the Illinois Central Railroad routed through those cities and bypassing Waynesville. Finally, when the system of state highways was laid out, the village was once again bypassed.
Today, Waynesville is a slowly shrinking settlement, as younger people move away and older people die off. It no longer has a school of its own, in fact. Many of the buildings in its "uptown" business district have succumbed to the ravages of time.
Choose the Right Dental Hygienist School near Waynesville IL
Picking the right dental hygienist program is crucial if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene exam or, if required in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are numerous options available to obtain your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs generally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists normally require about 2 years of studies prior to entering the job market. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. 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 right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Waynesville IL.
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