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What to Cover With Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Decatur Alabama, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for several online options also. Although these are relevant initial points to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are comparing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only select an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you receive is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Decatur AL employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited colleges.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Included? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Most dental hygienist programs have partnerships with area dental practices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It's not only important that the program you choose provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Decatur AL dental practice that specializes in dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective means to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish working relationships in the professional dental community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Provided? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need help getting their first job. Find out if the programs you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Decatur AL dental community in addition to large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the programs you are interested in how big on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a couple of classes at the Decatur AL dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Cost of the Program? Dental hygiene training can vary in cost depending 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 public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, remember to add all of the expenses related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Decatur AL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and must go to classes near Decatur AL at nights or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of work, illness or family emergencies.