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Questions to Ask Dental Hygienist Colleges
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Northport Alabama, you can start the procedure of comparing schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of prospective students start by checking out the location and the cost of the colleges. Perhaps they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are looking at in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental hygienist program. If you are planning to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam, your dental school must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Northport AL employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Plenty of Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary portion of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. A number of dental hygienist schools have relationships with regional dental practices and clinics that provide clinical training for their students. It's not only essential that the college you choose 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 are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the school you select offers clinical rotation in a local Northport AL dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are evaluating have an internship program. Internships are probably the most effective method to obtain hands-on, clinical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many graduating students of dental hygienist programs require help getting their first job. Ask if the colleges you are looking at have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Northport AL dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the programs you are interested in how large typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, ask if you can sit in on a couple of classes at the Northport AL dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between instructors and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don't forget to add all of the costs related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial aid departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Northport AL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the assistant or hygienist program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and have to go to classes near Northport AL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online college, you will still need to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up procedure is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.