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Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Albertville Alabama, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for some online options as well. Even though these are significant initial factors to consider, there are several 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 assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the training you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Albertville AL employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is an important part of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Most dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with local dental practices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It's not only imperative that the school you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Albertville AL dental practice that focuses on dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are looking at sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to obtain hands-on, clinical 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 Albertville AL dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs need help getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Albertville AL dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the schools you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Albertville AL dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward so that you can witness first hand the amount of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can differ in cost based on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also have an impact. But along with the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance departments, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Albertville AL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near Albertville AL at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to illness, work or family responsibilities.