How to Become a Dental Assistant in Homerville Georgia
Selecting the right dental assistant training course near Homerville GA is an essential initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must examine and compare your school options. There is far more to completing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is closest to your home. There are other crucial issues to consider as well, including the program’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of time and money that you have to commit. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about one year to finish for a diploma or certificate. On the other hand dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to finish. Naturally with the more extensive training comes more cost. We will talk about all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s look at the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Role of Dental Assistants in Homerville GA
Dental assistants are an essential component of any Homerville GA dental practice and can undertake a variety of functions. Their primary job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice working successfully. Many dental assistants choose to specialize and receive certification in a specific area, for example periodontics. However the majority of assistants perform any job that they are called upon to complete, such as:
- Scheduling and verifying appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so check with the Georgia dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants handling X-ray machines more than likely will have to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or opt to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Programs near Homerville GA
Dental assistant courses are available at Georgia community colleges in addition to technical or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential acquired is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to complete. There are less Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assisting classes. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to complete and must be accredited by the CDA in almost every state. They are also offered in Georgia community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical component to the training as well. Many programs also offer internships with Homerville GA dentists or dental practices.
Online Dental Assistant Schools
Selecting an online dental assistant program might be a viable option for receiving your training. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be completely online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your Homerville GA home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while attending school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Many may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus competitors. And supplementary expenses such as for books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at an area dental practice 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 method of learning, you might find that enrolling in an online dental hygienist college is the ideal choice for you.
Subjects to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have picked the dental specialty and type of credential you would like to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Georgia schools and programs. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, many prospective students start by looking at the cost and the location of the schools. Maybe they look for some online alternatives also. Even though these are important initial factors to consider, there are a few additional questions that you need to address to the Homerville GA area colleges you are reviewing 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 final 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 college. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a condition in nearly all states. In order to take the Certified Dental Assistant examination, your dental school 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. Employers in Homerville GA typically prefer or require that job applicants 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 Georgia programs.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can choose to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just confirm that the Homerville GA college you select offers the program that’s right for you. However, keep in mind that just because a college has an excellent reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a strong accredited dental hygienist program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are only interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the right school for you.
Is Plenty of Clinical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an essential portion of any dental training program. This applies for the online college options also. Many dental schools have relationships with local dental practices and clinics that provide practical training for their students. It’s not only imperative that the program you select offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, make sure that the Homerville GA area program you select offers clinical rotation in a regional dental practice that focuses on dental care for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental programs you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the best way to receive hands-on, practical experience in a real Homerville GA dental practice. They help students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students form professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant programs require help obtaining their first job. Ask if the schools you are researching have job placement programs, and what their job placement rates are. Programs with high job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the Homerville GA dental community as well as large networks of contacts where they can refer their students for employment or internships.
Are Classrooms Small? Find out from the Homerville GA area schools you are interested in how big on average their classrooms are. The smaller classes usually offer a more intimate setting for training where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes often are impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are most interested in so that you can witness first hand the degree of interaction between teachers and students before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can differ in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of clinical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the schools and whether they are private or public also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other substantial costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to add all of the costs related to your education. Most colleges have financial aid departments, so make sure to find out what is offered as far as grants, loans and scholarships in Homerville GA.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before enrolling in a dental school, you must verify that the assistant program provides classes that accommodate your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while getting your education and have to attend classes near your Homerville GA home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still need to schedule your clinical training classes. Also, while making your inquiries, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Considering Attending Dental Assistant School near Homerville GA?
Following is some interesting background information about Homerville Georgia that you may find helpful.
Homerville is a city in Clinch County, Georgia, United States. The population was 2,456 at the 2010 census, a decrease of 12.38% from its population of 2,803 in 2000. The city is the county seat of Clinch County. Homerville was incorporated February 15, 1869.
Clinch County was created on February 14, 1850, by an act of the Georgia General Assembly, and was named for General Duncan Lamont Clinch, a decorated United States brigadier general and Georgia congressman who had recently died. Clinch, Georgia's 95th county, was formed from land originally inhabited by the Oconee people and consolidated portions of Ware County and Lowndes County. The act creating the county named Elijah Mattox, Simon W. Nichol, Timothy Kirkland, Benjamin Sirmans, and John J. Johnson as commissioners charged with selecting a county seat and constructing a courthouse.
The designated commissioners quickly settled on a site just southwest of the present-day Homerville, and in memory of President James K. Polk decided to name the county seat "Polk". Two years later, however, the Georgia General Assembly inexplicably changed the name of the county seat to "Magnolia", just as the county's first courthouse was completed. The first courthouse was quite small and was destroyed in 1856 when a citizen, presumably dissatisfied with legal proceedings brought against him, decided to destroy the courthouse by fire.
Choose the Right Dental Assistant Program near Homerville GA
Enrolling in the ideal dental assistant program is crucial if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are numerous alternatives offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short period of time to become a dental assistant. You can acquire your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs usually receive a Certificate. Dental Assistants usually require about 1 year of study prior to entering the work force. When earning a certificate or degree you can elect to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you decide to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the best choice. And as a result, you will be ready to start your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Homerville GA.
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