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Topics to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Opelika Alabama, you can start the process of comparing schools and programs. As we covered at the beginning of this article, a number of potential students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online options also. Even though these may be relevant initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the colleges you are reviewing in order to reach an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are intending to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental school 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. Opelika AL employers often desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And finally, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, often they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an essential component of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options also. Many dental hygienist programs have associations with area dental offices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It's not only essential that the college you enroll in provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you ultimately want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the program you choose offers clinical rotation in a local Opelika AL dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are exploring sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the best means to receive hands-on, practical 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 build working relationships in the professional dental community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Assistance Furnished? Most students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools require help getting their first job. Find out if the colleges you are looking at 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 Opelika AL dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classes Smaller? Find out from the programs you are evaluating how large on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, ask if you can monitor a couple of classes at the Opelika AL dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene schools can differ in cost based on the length of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other variables, for instance the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But along with the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, don't forget to add all of the expenses associated with your education. The majority of schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Opelika AL area.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you must verify that the hygienist or assistant program furnishes classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Opelika 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 policy is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family issues.