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Points to Ask Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Florence Alabama, you can begin the process of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the cost and the location of the colleges. Possibly they search for several online options also. Although these may be important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should address to the programs you are reviewing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have furnished a list of questions to help you with your evaluation and final selection of the ideal dental hygienist college for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement 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 education you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Florence AL employers typically desire or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not offered for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary component of any dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. A number of dental hygienist colleges have partnerships with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It's not only important that the college you select offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the type of practice that you ultimately would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, check that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Florence AL dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective means to receive hands-on, practical experience in a professional dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist programs require help landing their first job. Check if the programs you are researching have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Florence AL dental profession in addition to extensive networks of contacts where they can refer their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Small? Ask the colleges you are reviewing how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Florence AL dental hygienist college that you are most interested in so that you can 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 colleges can fluctuate in cost dependent on the length 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 along with the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, don't forget to include all of the expenses related to your education. Most schools have financial aid offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the Florence AL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist school, you must make sure that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Florence AL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still have to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.