How to Choose a Dental Assistant Program near Hatchechubbee Alabama
Choosing the ideal dental assistant training near Hatchechubbee AL is an important initial step toward beginning your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you need to analyze and compare your school options. There is much more to doing your due diligence than choosing the school with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your residence. There are other important issues to take into account as well, for instance the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specialties you are most interested in getting training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you have to invest. The most common dental assistant program usually takes about 1 year to finish for a certificate or diploma. However dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the longer training of a dental hygienist comes more cost. We will cover all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are reviewing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the duties of both dental assistants and hygienists and the training options offered.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an important component of any Hatchechubbee AL dental practice and can perform a variety of functions. Their main job description is to provide assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating efficiently. Many dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. Even so most assistants perform any duty that they are called upon to fulfill, for example:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing instruments for dentists
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Preparing X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so consult with the Alabama dental board for your state’s regulations. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will need to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the role of a dental assistant to that of a hygienist, the most significant difference is probably that the dental hygienist works more independently. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and in support of the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the Hatchechubbee AL practice, work with the patients more on an individual basis. They are usually the initial person a patient encounters when called from the waiting room. They examine each patient’s gums and teeth and report their results to the dentists. They also may perform basic procedures. Depending on state law, a hygienist’s duties may include:
- Removing tartar, stains and plaque
- Applying fluoride treatments
- Applying sealants and polishing teeth
- Instructing patients about oral hygiene
- Taking and developing X-rays
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in almost all states, dental hygienists must graduate from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They must also pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Exam as well as any state licensing examinations. After they have completed these requirements they are deemed fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Training Options
Dental assistant courses are provided at Alabama junior colleges in addition to trade or vocational schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more expansive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting courses. As a result of the added responsibility as compared to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in Hatchechubbee AL dental offices are often required to hold an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Alabama community colleges and technical schools. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training as well. A number of programs also sponsor internships with local dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Training
Choosing an online dental assistant college may be a great alternative for getting your education. Just keep in mind that the program will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the balance of your classes will be provided via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Hatchechubbee AL home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those working while going to school, online dental classes make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even have lower tuition rates than their traditional counterparts. And additional expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be reduced as well. The practical training can typically be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the dedication for this style of education, you may find that attending an dental hygienist online college is the right option for you.
What to Ask Dental Assistant Schools
After you have selected the dental specialization and type of credential you would like to attain, you can begin the process of comparing Alabama schools and programs. As we discussed at the start of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Maybe they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are several additional questions that you should ask of the Hatchechubbee AL area colleges you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental hygienist program for you.
Is the Dental Assistant Program Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only enroll in an accredited dental assistant program. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a prerequisite in almost all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps establish that the instruction you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Employers in Hatchechubbee AL typically prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited colleges. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, often they are not obtainable for non-accredited Alabama programs.
Is The Right Dental Program Offered? You can choose to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the Alabama school you choose offers the program that you want. For the assistant program, the choices are to earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. In order to work as a hygienist, most Hatchechubbee AL dental offices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, keep in mind that just because a school has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited assistant program. So if you are solely interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the right college for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a vital part of every dental training program. This is true for the online school options as well. Most dental schools have partnerships with local dental offices and clinics that furnish practical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you enroll in offers enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you are interested in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Hatchechubbee AL area college you enroll in offers clinical rotation in a local dental practice that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Are Internships Available? Verify if the dental colleges you are exploring have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal means to receive hands-on, clinical experience in a real Hatchechubbee AL dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students develop professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they look good on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Provided? Many graduating students of dental assistant colleges need assistance getting their first job. Check if the schools you are reviewing have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Hatchechubbee AL dental profession in addition to large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Smaller? Ask the Hatchechubbee AL area colleges you are reviewing how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes tend to provide a more intimate setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, bigger classes often are impersonal and offer little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are leaning toward so that you can experience first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before enrolling.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant programs can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the amount of clinical training provided. Other factors, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are private or public also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of programs, remember to include all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so be sure to ask what is available as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Hatchechubbee AL.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental college, you need to verify that the assistant program provides classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near your Hatchechubbee AL home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you choose an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical 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 responsibilities.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Dental Assistant?When getting ready to interview for a Dental Assistant job, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask Dental Assistant applicants is "What drove you to choose Assisting as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a Dental Assistant, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to Assisting, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an excellent Dental Assistant and the best choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
Find the Right Dental Assistant College near Hatchechubbee AL
Selecting the ideal dental assistant course is imperative if you intend to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As we have covered, there are a number of alternatives offered to acquire your training and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs typically receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require roughly one year of study prior to entering the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes on-campus or online. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by asking the questions provided in this article you will be in a better position to make the ideal selection. And as a result, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Hatchechubbee AL.
Tell Me About Hatchechubbee Alabama
Russell County, Alabama
Russell County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 52,947. Its county seat is Phenix City. Its name is in honor of Colonel Gilbert C. Russell, who fought in the wars against the Creek Indians.
Russell County was established by an act of the state general assembly on December 18, 1832, from lands ceded to the state by the Creek Native Americans. The county seat has changed several times: Girard (1833–1839), Crawford originally Crockettsville (1839–1868), Seale (1868–1935) and Phenix City (1935–present). It was named for War of 1812, Col. Gilbert Christian Russell, Sr., 1782–1861, 3rd U.S. Infantry.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 52,947 people residing in the county. 53.7% were White, 41.8% Black or African American, 0.4% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 1.3% of some other race and 2.1% of two or more races. 3.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
As of the census of 2000, there were 49,756 people, 19,741 households, and 13,423 families residing in the county. The population density was 78 people per square mile (30/km2). There were 22,831 housing units, at an average density of 14/km2 (36/sq mi). The racial makeup of the county was: 56.69% White, 40.84% Black or African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.59% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. Nearly 1.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
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