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Issues to Cover With Dental Hygienist Schools
Now that you have decided to become a dental hygienist in Oro Valley Arizona, you can begin the process of comparing programs and schools. As we covered at the beginning of this article, many potential students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for some online options as well. Although these may be important initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you need to address to the schools you are looking at in order to reach an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist school for you.
Is the Dental College Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental hygienist school. If you are intending to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Oro Valley AZ employers frequently prefer or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not available for non-accredited schools.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is an important component of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Many dental hygienist schools have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that provide 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. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local Oro Valley AZ dental office that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are considering sponsor internship programs. Internships are undoubtedly the ideal method 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 build professional relationships in the Oro Valley AZ dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Most graduating students of dental hygienist programs need help getting their first job. Check if the colleges you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Oro Valley AZ dental community in addition to broad networks of contacts where they can place their students for internships or employment.
Are Classrooms Smaller? Ask the schools you are evaluating how big typically their classes are. The smaller classes generally provide a more intimate setting for learning where students have greater access to the teachers. On the other hand, larger classes tend to be impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If practical, find out if you can sit in on a few classes at the Oro Valley AZ dental hygienist school that you are leaning toward in order to witness first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before enrolling.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental hygiene training 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 schools and whether they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs 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 analyzing the cost of programs, don't forget to add all of the expenses related to your education. The majority of colleges have financial assistance offices, so be sure to check out what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in the Oro Valley AZ area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental hygienist college, you need to make sure that the hygienist or assistant program offers classes that accommodate your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while receiving your education and have to go to classes near Oro Valley AZ at nights or on weekends. And even if you select an online school, you will still need 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.