How to Find the Right Dental Hygienist College near Kenai Alaska
Selecting the right dental hygienist school near Kenai AK is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than selecting the college with the most affordable tuition or enrolling in the college that is closest to your home. There are other important issues to take into account also, 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. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental hygienist colleges you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When contrasting the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the most significant difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Kenai AK practice and the dentists. Hygienists, while also supporting the practice, work with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient interacts with when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They also may carry out basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Educating patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
In order to be licensed in almost all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensing exams. After they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Education Options
As a result of the added responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Kenai AK dental offices are normally required to hold 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 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 aspect to the training as well| Many programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Dental Hygienist Online Colleges
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist college might be a viable option for receiving your training. Just remember that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Kenai AK home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical training can often be completed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything needed to receive the proper education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online school is the best choice for you.
Issues to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Kenai AK, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options as well. Although these are significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually 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 ensure that the training you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Kenai AK employers often prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist schools have associations with local dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only essential that the college you select provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Kenai AK dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Ask if the dental programs you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective way 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 create professional relationships in the Kenai AK dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Provided? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need assistance obtaining their first job. Find out if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Kenai AK dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the programs you are interested in how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Kenai AK dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can differ 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 public or private also come into play. But besides 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 examining the cost of schools, don’t forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial aid offices, so make sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Kenai AK area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to verify 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 need to attend classes near Kenai 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 addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family responsibilities.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Kenai AK?
Kenai (/ˈkiːnaɪ/, KEY-nigh) (Dena'ina: Shk'ituk't) is a city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. The population was 7,100 as of the 2010 census, up from 6,942 in 2000.
The city of Kenai is named after the local Dena'ina (Tanaina) word 'ken' or 'kena', which means 'flat, meadow, open area with few trees; base, low ridge', according to the Dena'ina Topical Dictionary by James Kari, Ph.D., published in 2007. This describes the area along the mouth and portion of the Kenai River near the City of Kenai. Archaeological evidence suggests that the area was first occupied by the Kachemak people from 1000 B.C., until they were displaced by the Dena'ina Athabaskan people around 1000 A.D. Before the arrival of the Russians, Kenai was a Dena'ina village called Shk'ituk't, meaning "where we slide down." When Russian fur traders first arrived in 1741, about 1,000 Dena'ina lived in the village. The traders called the people "Kenaitze", which is a Russian term for "people of the flats", or "Kenai people". This name was later adopted when they were incorporated as the Kenaitze Indian Tribe in the early 1970s.
In 1786 Pytor Zaikov built Fort Nikolaevskaia for the Lebedev-Lastochkin Company on the site of modern Kenai, being the first European settlement on the Alaskan mainland. Hostilities surfaced between the natives and settlers in 1797, culminating in an incident in which the Dena'ina attacked Fort St. Nicholas, later dubbed the battle of Kenai. Over one hundred deaths occurred from all involved parties. Later, in 1838, the introduction of smallpox killed one half of the Dena'ina population.
The establishment of shipping companies in the early 1900s broadened Kenai into a port city. Canning companies were established and helped fuel the commercial fishing boom that was the primary activity through the 1920s.
Find the Right Dental Hygienist Program near Kenai AK
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 you now know, there are a number of options available to obtain your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental hygienist. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs generally obtain an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about two years of studies before they enter the job market. When earning a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training you decide to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And as a result, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Kenai AK.
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