How to Select a Dental Hygienist School near Wallops Island Virginia
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist program near Wallops Island VA is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must analyze and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the school with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the school that is nearest to your home. There are other significant issues to take into account as well, such as the program’s accreditation and reputation. Dental hygienists generally 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 prolonged training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will cover all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s explore the roles of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of a Dental Hygienist
When contrasting 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 assists the Wallops Island VA practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are often the initial person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing stains, tartar and plaque
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- 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. After they have fulfilled these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the increased responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Wallops Island VA dental offices are usually required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish 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 aspect to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Selecting an online dental hygienist college can be a viable alternative for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be provided by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Wallops Island VA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental classes make education much more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened also. The clinical training can typically be performed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the clinical and online training, everything needed to receive the proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist college is the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Wallops Island VA, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of prospective students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they search for some online alternatives also. Although these are important initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost 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 ensure that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Wallops Island VA employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential component of any dental training program. This is true 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 imperative that the program you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Wallops Island VA dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to obtain 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 build professional relationships in the Wallops Island VA dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs require help obtaining their first job. Find out if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Wallops Island VA dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the schools you are interested in how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate environment for training where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Wallops Island VA dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before enrolling.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if 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 costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to include all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Wallops Island VA area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near Wallops Island VA at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online program, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Wallops Island VA?
Wallops Island is a six-square-mile (16 km2) island in Accomack County, Virginia, part of the Virginia Barrier Islands that stretch along the eastern seaboard of the United States of America. The island is just south of Chincoteague Island, a popular tourist destination.
Wallops Island proper, originally known as Kegotank Island, was granted to John Wallop by the Crown on April 29, 1692. Ownership was divided down through the years, until the Commonwealth of Virginia seized the property in 1876 and 1877 in lieu of unpaid taxes. From 1877, ownership was again divided and sub-divided until 1889, when it was held by various trustees for the Wallops Island Club. The Club was incorporated and assumed ownership in 1933 as the Wallops Island Association, Inc. Association members and their families spent the summers fishing and swimming on the island. The Association grazed sheep, cattle, and ponies on the area until the mid-1940s. In 1947, the U.S. Navy began using the upper two-thirds of the island on a lease-rental basis for aviation ordnance testing. The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (N.A.C.A.), forerunner of NASA, leased the lower 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) for rocket launching facilities.
The island is primarily used for NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, including the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport, although the name also refers to the peninsula area surrounding the island for the purpose of mailing addresses. The Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuge is located on the island.
Choose the Right Dental Hygienist School near Wallops Island VA
Choosing the ideal dental hygienist course is essential if you want to take the National Board Dental Hygiene examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are several alternatives available to acquire your education and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require roughly 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning a degree you can choose to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training you choose to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Wallops Island VA.
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