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Subjects to Ask Dental Hygienist Programs
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Maricopa Arizona, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we discussed at the opening of this article, many students start by looking at the location and the cost of the schools. Perhaps they look for several online options also. Although these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should address to the schools you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have provided a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and final selection of the best dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in virtually all states. To qualify to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps ensure that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Maricopa AZ 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, usually they are not available for non-accredited programs.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is a necessary part of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Many dental hygienist schools have associations with area dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It's not only essential that the program you select offers sufficient 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 program you select offers clinical rotation in a local Maricopa AZ dental office that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental schools you are considering sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to get 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 create professional relationships in the Maricopa AZ dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes too.
Is Job Placement Support Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental hygienist schools need assistance obtaining their first job. Ask if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Maricopa AZ dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Check with the programs you are looking at how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more intimate environment for training where students have increased access to the teachers. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If practical, ask if you can attend a few classes at the Maricopa AZ dental hygienist college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Overall Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training can fluctuate in cost based on the length of the program and the amount of clinical 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 expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, don't forget to include all of the costs associated with your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so be sure to find out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Maricopa AZ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist school, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that suit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while acquiring your education and need to attend classes near Maricopa AZ in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online school, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes due to work, illness or family emergencies.