How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist School near Woodside New York
Selecting the right dental hygienist school near Woodside NY is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your choice, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than selecting the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant issues to consider as well, 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 two to three years to accomplish. Obviously with the more extensive training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these considerations and additional questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist programs you are looking at later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Woodside NY dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting area. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
In order to be licensed in nearly 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 in addition to passing any state licensing exams. After they have completed these requirements they are considered fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
Because of the increased responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Woodside NY dental offices 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 complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost 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| Many programs also offer internships with local dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Hygienist Schools
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school might be a good alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided via your personal computer in the comfort of your Woodside NY home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending school, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically be performed at an area dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything necessary to obtain the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of learning, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online school is the right choice for you.
Points to Cover With Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Woodside NY, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for some online options also. Even though these may be important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are many valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Woodside NY employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, usually they are not offered for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the school you choose provides adequate 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, confirm that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Woodside NY dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the ideal means to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the Woodside NY dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools require assistance landing their first job. Find out if the programs you are looking at have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Woodside NY dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the schools you are reviewing how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate atmosphere for training 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 sit in on a few classes at the Woodside NY dental hygienist school that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses 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 comparing the cost of programs, don’t forget to add all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Woodside NY area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while getting your education and need to go to classes near Woodside NY at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Woodside NY?
Woodside is a residential and commercial neighborhood in the western portion of the borough of Queens in New York City. It is bordered on the south by Maspeth, on the north by Astoria, on the west by Sunnyside, and on the east by Elmhurst and Jackson Heights. Some areas are widely residential and very quiet, while other parts, especially the ones around Roosevelt Avenue, are busier. The neighborhood is located in Queens Community Board 1 and Queens Community Board 2.
In the 19th century the area was part of the Town of Newtown (now Elmhurst). The adjacent area of Winfield was largely incorporated into the post office serving Woodside and as a consequence Winfield lost much of its identity distinct from Woodside. However, with large-scale residential development in the 1860s, Woodside became the largest Irish American community in Queens, being approximately 80% Irish by the 1930s and maintaining a strong Irish culture today. In the early 1990s, many Asian American families moved into the area, with the population being 30% Asian American. South Asians and Latinos have also moved to Woodside in recent years.
Reflecting its longtime diverse foods and drink, the neighborhood is filled with many cultural restaurants and pubs. It is also home to some of the city's most popular Thai, Filipino, and South American eateries.
For two centuries following the arrival of settlers from England and the Netherlands, the area where the village of Woodside would be established was sparsely populated. The land was fertile but also wet. Its Native American inhabitants called it a place of "bad waters" and it was known to early European settlers as a place of "marshes, muddy flats and bogs," where "wooded swamps" and "flaggy pools" were fed by flowing springs." Until drained in the nineteenth century, one of these wet woodlands was called Wolf Swamp after the predators that infested it. This swamp was not the only place where settlers might fear for the safety of their livestock, and even themselves. One of the oldest recorded locations in Woodside was called Rattlesnake Spring on the property of a Captain Bryan Newton. The vicinity came to be called Snake Woods and one source maintains that "during New York’s colonial period, the area was known as 'suicide’s paradise,' as it was largely snake-infested swamps and wolf-ridden woodlands."
Choose the Right Dental Hygienist College near Woodside NY
Picking the right dental hygienist course is imperative 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 a number of alternatives available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically receive an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 2 years of studies prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a degree you can choose to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the right choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Woodside NY.
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