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Questions to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Prattville Alabama, you can start the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the start of this article, many potential students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Possibly they look for several online options as well. Although these are relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the programs you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have provided a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the best dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are a number of good reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in nearly all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental college must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you receive is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Prattville AL employers often prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are requesting financial aid or a student loan, frequently they are not provided for non-accredited colleges.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential part of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options as well. A number of dental hygienist schools have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It's not only essential that the college you select provides adequate 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, make sure that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Prattville AL dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental programs you are exploring have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective means to get hands-on, practical experience in a real dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the Prattville AL dentistry community. And they look good on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Most graduating students of dental hygienist schools require assistance landing their first job. Ask if the colleges you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Prattville AL dental profession as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for internships or employment.
Are the Classrooms Small? Ask the schools you are interested in how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the Prattville AL dental hygienist school that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the level of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene colleges can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other variables, for example the reputations of the schools and if they are private or public also have an impact. But in addition to the tuition there are other significant costs 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 analyzing the cost of programs, don't forget to include all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Prattville AL area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to confirm that the hygienist or assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to attend classes near Prattville AL in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still be required to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up policy is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.