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Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Alabaster Alabama, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, many prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online options also. Even though these may be significant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the colleges you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost 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 ensure that the instruction you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Alabaster AL employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited programs.
Is Sufficient Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a necessary part of any dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Most dental hygienist colleges have associations with regional dental offices and clinics that provide practical 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 would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Alabaster AL dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are considering have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal way to get 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 build professional relationships in the Alabaster AL dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools require help obtaining their first job. Ask if the programs you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Alabaster AL dental community in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Ask the colleges you are reviewing how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes tend to offer a more intimate atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If practical, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Alabaster AL dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the amount of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Alabaster AL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Alabaster AL at nights or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.