Whether you are a recent high school graduate or a returning student seeking a career change there are many factors to consider when searching for a Dental Hygiene Program or the right Dental Hygienist School. With over 300 Dental Hygiene programs in the United States it can be a tough decision when choosing which program is right for you.
Of course this is a no brainer, college costs money – lots of money, but we all know that our education is a great investment! Consider choosing a program in-state to keep tuition as low as possible. Different colleges will have different tuition and fee rates and this is a very important factor to consider. A Bachelor’s program at a major University like Baylor will cost more (most likely) than an Associates program at a Junior College.
Are you willing to relocate to attend Dental Hygiene school? Finding a program that is conveniently located without an excessively long commute will be important to keep the heavy course load manageable. Spending several hours on the road each day is not practical.
PASS RATES ON NATIONAL EXAMS
Do some research to find out the pass rate that the school has on its national board exams and regional exams for the Dental Hygiene program. Boasting a high pass rate will help reassure you that the college you are choosing will be preparing you for the exams you will have to pass to become a Registered Dental Hygienist licensed in your state.
FACULTY and MENTORS
Will you have a supportive faculty that truly wants to help you succeed? A good support staff of dedicated educators and mentors will help you on your way to a successful education and rewarding career. If possible, speak to students that have been through the program.
YOUR CAREER GOALS
There are many more Associates Degree Dental Hygiene programs in the US than Bachelor’s programs so if you know that obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Dental Hygiene is important to you than you may want to save yourself some time and money and go straight through that program. If there is not one in your area there are some online bridge programs that are offered online for a RDH to obtain a BSDH degree.
YOUR OWN INSTINCT
Follow your gut! If you are able to relocate and have the luxury of choosing from a variety of Dental Hygiene programs then I would highly encourage you to tour the facilities of each program you would like to attend. Visit with the facility and director of the program if possible. Visiting with the currently enrolled Dental Hygiene students would also be extremely beneficial. They would be able to give you the ins and outs of the program and give you a glimpse into the life of a Dental Hygiene student.
Good luck to you in your search for YOUR perfect Dental Hygiene program/Dental Hygienist School. Do your research, ask questions, and in the end follow your own instinct. Dental Hygiene school is challenging, if it were easy everyone would do it! The hard work will be worth it, as you will have a rewarding career ahead of you!