How to Choose a Dental Hygienist Program near Gustavus Alaska
Selecting the ideal dental hygienist school near Gustavus AK is an important first step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than selecting the program with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important factors to consider as well, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. Dental hygienists typically earn an Associate Degree, as compared to a certificate usually earned by assistants, and can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Obviously with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist programs you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs provided.
The Job of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the role of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and assists the Gustavus AK dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, deal with the patients more on an individual basis. They are frequently the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Instructing patients about oral care
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Removing sutures and applying fillings
To qualify for licensing in nearly 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 Examination in addition to passing any state licensing exams. After 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 in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Gustavus AK dental practices are often required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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| A number of programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Training Programs
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college might be a viable option for getting your training. Just remember that the program will not be completely online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available by means of your personal computer in the convenience of your Gustavus AK home or elsewhere on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Some may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to obtain the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of learning, you might find that attending an online dental hygienist program is the right choice for you.
What to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Gustavus AK, you can start the procedure of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they search for several online alternatives also. Although these are important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the programs 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 final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify 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 education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Gustavus AK employers frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. Many dental hygienist programs have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the college you enroll in provides sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the college you select offers clinical rotation in a local Gustavus AK dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental schools you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are probably the best means to obtain 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 Gustavus AK dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs need help getting their first job. Find out if the schools you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Gustavus AK dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the colleges you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally provide a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can attend a couple of classes at the Gustavus AK dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs 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 add all of the costs associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Gustavus AK area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must go to classes near Gustavus AK in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Gustavus AK?
Gustavus, formerly known as "Strawberry Point", lies on the outwash plain created by the glaciers that once filled Glacier Bay. Two hundred years ago, it was primarily a single large "beach". The native Tlingit people and others used the area for fishing, berry picking, and other similar uses. The town itself is less than one hundred years old. The first settlers arrived in 1914, but left shortly afterward. The first permanent homestead was established in 1917, when Abraham Lincoln Parker moved his family to Strawberry Point. Many Gustavus residents are descendants and relatives of the original Parker homesteaders.
In 1925 the name became "Gustavus", when the U.S. Post Office required a change for its new post office, although locals continued calling it "Strawberry Point" long afterwards. The new name came from Point Gustavus at the mouth of Glacier Bay.
In 1793 George Vancouver named Point Adolphus (at the northern tip of Chichagof Island, and today a well-known humpback whale feeding area) after Adolphus Frederick, seventh son of King George III. In 1878, W.H. Dall, while working on a coastal survey, saw "Adolphus" on the map and assumed it was for Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus. The point across Icy Strait from Point Adolphus at the mouth of Glacier Bay was not named on the map, so Dall called it "Gustavus". Another possibility is that Dall named Gustavus for Gustavus C. Hanus, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate who had extensive experience throughout southeast Alaska, and both Dall and Hanus served with the Coast Survey in Alaska. Hanus laid out the first streets in Juneau and helped quell the trouble in Klukwan in 1881.
There is still a large beach at Gustavus, with many strawberries. The city is surrounded on three sides by Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, and on the fourth side by water. The area is a temperate rain forest; spruce and hemlock trees reach heights of 60 metres (200 ft), and alders, balsam poplar, fern, mosses, fireweed, lupine, and other plants are also common. Gustavus's coastal location gives it a relatively mild winter. Summer temperatures range from 11 to 17 °C (52 to 63 °F); winter temperatures from −3 to 4 °C (27 to 39 °F).
Choose the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Gustavus AK
Enrolling in the right dental hygienist course is crucial if you want 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 options available to receive your education and it takes a relatively short period of time to become a dental hygienist. You can receive your formal education through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists generally require about 2 years of studies before they enter the work force. When earning a degree you can choose to go to 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 appropriate choice. And by doing so, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Gustavus AK.
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