How to Enroll In a Dental Hygienist Training Program near Eielson Afb Alaska
Picking the right dental hygienist college near Eielson Afb AK is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to performing your due diligence than choosing the college 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 school’s accreditation and reputation. 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 longer training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these concerns and additional questions that you should be asking the dental hygienist schools you are analyzing later in this article. But first, let’s review the duties of dental hygienists and the training programs offered.
The Duties of a Dental Hygienist
When comparing the job of a dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the main difference is undoubtedly that the hygienist works more independently. Dental assistants work with and in support of the Eielson Afb AK dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are often the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s gums and teeth and present their findings to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s duties can include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- 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 in addition to passing any state licensing examinations. Once they have fulfilled these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and may add the “RDH” designation to their names, standing for Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Hygienist Training Options
As a result of the additional responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists working in Eielson Afb AK dental offices are normally required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene rather than a certificate. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly 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 clinical component to the training as well| Many programs also offer internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Hygienist Training
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist school might be a good option for getting your education. Just remember that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Eielson Afb AK home or anywhere else on your laptop or tablet. For those working while attending college, online dental programs make education far more accessible. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced also. The clinical training can typically be performed at a community dental practice or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to obtain the appropriate education is provided. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you might find that attending an dental hygienist online program is the right option for you.
What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Eielson Afb AK, you can begin the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the start of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online alternatives as well. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Eielson Afb AK employers frequently desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And finally, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist programs have associations with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the school you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the school you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Eielson Afb AK dental office that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are looking at sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal way to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist colleges require assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Eielson Afb AK dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Smaller? Find out from the programs you are reviewing how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, large classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a few classes at the Eielson Afb AK dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the level of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Eielson Afb AK area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Eielson Afb AK in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.
Attending Dental Hygienist School near Eielson Afb AK?
Eielson Air Force Base
Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) (IATA: EIL, ICAO: PAEI, FAA LID: EIL) is a United States Air Force base located approximately 26 miles (42 km) southeast of Fairbanks, Alaska and just southeast of Moose Creek, Alaska. It was established in 1943 as Mile 26 Satellite Field and taken off deployment in 2007. It has been a Superfund site since 1989.
Its host unit is the 354th Fighter Wing (354 FW) assigned to the Eleventh Air Force of the Pacific Air Forces. The 354 FW's primary mission is to support Red Flag – Alaska, a series of Pacific Air Forces commander–directed field training exercises for U.S. Forces, joint offensive counter-air, interdiction, close-air support, and large force employment training in a simulated combat environment. These exercises are conducted on the Joint Pacific Alaskan Range complex with air operations flown out of the two bases.
Eielson is home to the 354th Fighter Wing which is part of the Eleventh Air Force (11 AF) of Pacific Air Forces. The 354th Fighter Wing mission is "To train, deliver, maintain and support combat power across the globe while taking care of our people, their families and our infrastructure." To accomplish that mission, the wing implements flying operations, mission support, maintenance and medical care functions and is host to 10 tenant units.
On 7 June 1943, the Western Defense Command ordered construction of a new airfield near present-day Fort Wainwright, then an Army airfield named after Major Arthur K. Ladd. Because of its hazard-free approaches and relatively flat terrain, surveyor reports indicated a site a little more than twenty-five miles southeast of Ladd Army Airfield to be the best in the vicinity for military aviation. The field became known as "Mile 26" because of its proximity to a US Army Signal Corps telegraph station and a Richardson Highway milepost marker using the same designation.
Choose the Best Dental Hygienist School near Eielson Afb AK
Picking the right dental hygienist program is crucial 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 many alternatives available to acquire your training 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, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs typically earn an Associate Degree. Dental Hygienists usually require about two years of studies before they enter the work force. When pursuing a degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. 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 right choice. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental hygienist in Eielson Afb AK.
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