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Topics to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Athens Alabama, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by looking at the location and the cost of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options also. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should address to the programs you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental School Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in almost all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Athens AL employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist colleges have relationships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It's not only important that the school you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Athens AL dental office that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental colleges you are looking at have internship programs. Internships are probably the best method to get hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the Athens AL dentistry community. And they look good on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist schools need help getting their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Athens AL dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the programs you are evaluating how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually offer a more personal atmosphere for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Athens AL dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and teachers before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene programs can fluctuate in cost dependent on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, such as 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 costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, don't forget to include all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Athens AL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must confirm that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to go to classes near Athens AL at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should need to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.