How to Select the Best Dental Assistant College near Kenai Alaska
Picking the right dental assistant school near Kenai AK is an essential first step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your choice, you need to examine and compare your school options. There is much more to performing your due diligence than selecting the dental assistant training with the least expensive tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial issues to take into account also, such as the school’s reputation and accreditation. Your first step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in receiving training for, which may be contingent on the amount of time and money that you are willing to invest. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about 12 months to finish for a certificate or diploma. Meanwhile dental assistants may also earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from 2 to 3 years to complete. Obviously with the longer training comes more expense. We will explore all of these concerns and supplemental questions that you should be asking the dental assistant schools you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Role of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an important part of any Kenai AK dental office and can perform a multitude of duties. Their fundamental job description is to furnish support to the dentists and the administrative staff. In other words, to help keep the practice operating successfully. Some dental assistants opt to specialize and obtain certification in a particular area, such as pediatrics. Even so most assistants perform any job that they are asked to complete, such as:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth treatments and cleanings
- Sterilizing and preparing instruments for dentists
- Clearing patients’ mouths with suction equipment
- Supplying instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Purchasing office and dental supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the Alaska dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants dealing with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. A large number of dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Education Programs
Dental assistant courses are provided at Alaska community colleges along with trade or vocational schools. As previously mentioned, the most common credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to complete. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they provide a more extensive education, including general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. These programs can require 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 Alaska community colleges and technical schools. Whether you are pursuing earning a certificate or a degree as a dental assistant, there will be a practical aspect to the training also. A number of programs also offer internships with Kenai AK dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Programs
Choosing an online dental assistant program might be a viable alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a practical portion to your training. But the rest of your classes will be accessible by means of your desktop computer in the convenience of your Kenai AK home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those working while going to school, online dental programs make education a lot more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition fees than their traditional counterparts. And added expenses for items like commuting, books and school supplies may be lessened as well. The clinical training can typically be completed at a community dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything necessary to receive the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this style of education, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the right choice for you.
Questions to Cover With Dental Assistant Colleges
When you have picked the dental specialization and type of credential you want to obtain, you can start the process of comparing Alaska schools and programs. As we discussed at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by looking at the cost and the location of the colleges. Perhaps they look for several online alternatives as well. Although these are relevant initial factors to consider, there are several additional questions that you should address to the Kenai AK area programs you are looking at in order to make an informed decision. To start that process, we have supplied a list of questions to help you with your due diligence and final selection of the right dental assistant school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are several important reasons why you should only pick an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a condition in almost 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 guarantee that the training you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in Kenai AK frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And finally, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, frequently they are not offered for non-accredited Alaska programs.
Is The Proper Dental Program Offered? You can opt to train to become a dental assistant by earning either a Certificate or an Associate Degree. Just make sure that the Kenai AK school you choose offers the program that you want. However, bear in mind that just because a college has an exceptional reputation as well as accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are solely interested in a dental assistant degree, obviously it would not be the best school for you.
Is Sufficient Practical Training Provided? Clinical or practical training is a necessary component of every dental training program. This holds true for the online school options as well. Most dental programs have relationships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you choose provides adequate clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. For example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the Kenai AK area program you select offers clinical rotation in an area dental practice that specializes in dental care for children.
Are Internships Available? Find out if the dental colleges you are evaluating sponsor an internship program. Internships are undoubtedly the most effective method to get hands-on, practical experience in a professional Kenai AK dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students create professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Help Furnished? Many students that have graduated from dental assistant colleges require help landing their first job. Find out if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Colleges with high job placement rates probably have excellent reputations within the Kenai AK dental community as well as broad networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are the Classes Small? Check with the Kenai AK area colleges you are interested in how large typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal environment for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. Conversely, larger classes can be impersonal and offer little individualized instruction. If practical, find out if you can monitor a few classes at the college that you are leaning toward in order to experience first hand the degree of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Total Expense of the Program? Dental assistant schools can fluctuate in cost based on the duration of the program and the amount of practical training provided. Other factors, for instance the reputations of the schools and if they are public or private also come into play. But in addition to the tuition there are other substantial expenses which can add up. They can include costs for such things as textbooks and commuting as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when comparing the cost of schools, remember to include all of the expenses associated with your education. Most schools have financial aid departments, so make sure to check out what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in Kenai AK.
Are the Classes Convenient? Before selecting a dental college, you need to confirm that the assistant program furnishes classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you will be working while acquiring your education and must attend classes near your Kenai AK home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online program, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should need to miss any classes because of illness, work or family emergencies.
Considering a Dental Assistant Program near Kenai AK?
If you are considering a dental assistant school in the Kenai Alaska area, following is some interesting history and background information about your future campus location that you may find useful.
Kenai (/ˈkiːnaɪ/, KEY-nigh) (Dena'ina: Shk'ituk't) is a city in the Kenai Peninsula Borough in the U.S. state of Alaska. The population was 7,100 as of the 2010 census, up from 6,942 in 2000.
The city of Kenai is named after the local Dena'ina (Tanaina) word 'ken' or 'kena', which means 'flat, meadow, open area with few trees; base, low ridge', according to the Dena'ina Topical Dictionary by James Kari, Ph.D., published in 2007. This describes the area along the mouth and portion of the Kenai River near the City of Kenai. Archaeological evidence suggests that the area was first occupied by the Kachemak people from 1000 B.C., until they were displaced by the Dena'ina Athabaskan people around 1000 A.D. Before the arrival of the Russians, Kenai was a Dena'ina village called Shk'ituk't, meaning "where we slide down." When Russian fur traders first arrived in 1741, about 1,000 Dena'ina lived in the village. The traders called the people "Kenaitze", which is a Russian term for "people of the flats", or "Kenai people". This name was later adopted when they were incorporated as the Kenaitze Indian Tribe in the early 1970s.
In 1786 Pytor Zaikov built Fort Nikolaevskaia for the Lebedev-Lastochkin Company on the site of modern Kenai, being the first European settlement on the Alaskan mainland. Hostilities surfaced between the natives and settlers in 1797, culminating in an incident in which the Dena'ina attacked Fort St. Nicholas, later dubbed the battle of Kenai. Over one hundred deaths occurred from all involved parties. Later, in 1838, the introduction of smallpox killed one half of the Dena'ina population.
6 Week Dental Assistant Program Kenai Alaska
Picking the ideal dental assistant course is crucial if you wish to take the CDA examination or, if required in your state, become licensed. You originally came to this website due to an interest in 6 Week Dental Assistant Program and wanting info on Dental Assistant Certification Programs. But as you now know, there are many alternatives available to receive your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal training through dental programs at junior colleges, trade schools, vocational schools and technical institutes. Graduates of these programs normally earn a Certificate. Dental Assistants generally require approximately one year of study before they enter the job market. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes on-campus or online. Whichever credential or mode of training you choose to pursue, by asking the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to begin your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in Kenai AK.
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