How to Choose the Right Dental Assistant Program near West Point New York
Selecting the ideal dental assistant school near West Point NY is an important initial step toward starting your new career in dentistry. But before you can make your selection, you must evaluate and compare your school options. There is far more to doing your due diligence than picking the dental assistant program with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the one that is nearest to your residence. There are other significant factors to take into account also, including the school’s accreditation and reputation. Your first step is to decide which of the two credentials you are most interested in getting training for, which may depend on the amount of money and time that you are willing to commit. The most typical dental assistant program normally takes about one year 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 finish. Obviously with the more extensive training comes more cost. We will explore all of these issues and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the dental assistant schools you are evaluating later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of dental assistants and further discuss the training options offered.
The Job of Dental Assistants
Dental assistants are an integral part of any West Point NY dental office and can undertake a myriad of duties. Their fundamental job description is to give support to the admin staff and the dentists. In other words, to help keep the practice working successfully. A number of dental assistants opt to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for example pediatrics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are called upon to fulfill, such as:
- Setting and confirming appointments
- Preparing patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Preparing and sterilizing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and handling X-rays
- Purchasing dental and office supplies
Licensing and certification requirements for dental assistants vary by state, so check with the New York dental board for your state’s mandates. Assistants working with X-ray machines most likely will have to be certified and licensed. Many dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination offered by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
Dental Assistant Training Options
Dental assistant courses are offered at New York junior colleges along with vocational or technical schools. As previously mentioned, the most frequent credential earned is the certificate, which usually takes about 1 year to finish. There are less Associate Degree programs available, and they furnish a more extensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant courses. These programs can take anywhere from two to as long as three years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in nearly every state. They are also offered in New York vocational schools and community colleges. 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 sponsor internships with West Point NY dental practices or dentists.
Online Dental Assistant Classes
Enrolling in an online dental assistant program might be a great option for receiving your training. Just remember that the classes will not be 100% online, since there will be a clinical portion to your training. But the remainder of your classes will be available via your desktop computer in the convenience of your West Point NY home or elsewhere on your laptop or tablet. For those continuing to work while going to college, online dental programs make education much more obtainable. Some may even offer lower tuition rates than their on-campus counterparts. And added expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The clinical training can often 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 proper education is provided. If you have the discipline for this method of learning, you may find that enrolling in an dental hygienist online program is the best choice for you.
Questions to Ask Dental Assistant Colleges
After you have decided on the dental specialty and type of credential you wish to earn, you can start the procedure of comparing New York programs and schools. As we covered at the opening of this article, a number of students begin by checking out the cost and the location of the schools. Perhaps they search for several online options also. Even though these may be significant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you need to ask of the West Point NY area programs you are comparing in order to arrive at an informed decision. To start that process, we have included a list of questions to assist you with your evaluation and final selection of the best dental assistant school for you.
Is the Dental Assistant College Accredited? There are a number of valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant school. If you are going to become licensed or certified, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the instruction you get is comprehensive and of the highest quality. Employers in West Point NY frequently prefer or require that new hires are graduates of accredited programs. And last, if you are applying for a student loan or financial aid, often they are not offered for non-accredited New York 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 make sure that the West Point NY college you choose offers the program that you want. However, bear in mind that just because a school has a good reputation as well as accreditation does not mean each one of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited college may have a solid accredited dental hygienist program, but might have a weaker or non-accredited dental assistant program. So if you are only interested in a dental assistant degree, naturally it would not be the best college for you.
Is Enough Practical Training Provided? Practical or clinical training is an important portion of every dental training program. This is true for the online college options as well. Many dental schools have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the program you enroll in provides enough clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently would like to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, verify that the West Point NY area college you choose offers clinical rotation in an area dental office that specializes in dental services for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Ask if the dental colleges you are looking at have an internship program. Internships are probably the ideal means to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a professional West Point NY dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes as well.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most students that have graduated from dental assistant schools require assistance obtaining their first job. Check if the schools you are considering have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the West Point NY dental profession as well as extensive networks of contacts where they can place their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Find out from the West Point NY area colleges you are looking at how large on average their classes are. The smaller classes usually provide a more intimate atmosphere for training where students have greater access to the teachers. Conversely, larger classes tend to be impersonal and provide little individualized instruction. If feasible, find out if you can sit in on 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 Cost of the Program? Dental assistant colleges can vary in cost dependent on the length of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other variables, such as the reputations of the colleges and if they are public or private also come into play. But besides the tuition there are other significant costs which can add up. They can include costs for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school materials, equipment and supplies. So when examining the cost of schools, remember to add all of the expenses associated with your education. Most colleges have financial assistance departments, so be sure to find out what is available as far as loans, grants and scholarships in West Point NY.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before selecting a dental school, you must confirm that the assistant program offers classes that fit your schedule. This is particularly true if you will be working while acquiring your education and need to go to classes near your West Point NY home in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you enroll in an online school, you will still have to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up protocol is if you should have to miss any classes because of work, illness or family responsibilities.
Considering a Dental Assistant Program near West Point NY?
If you are considering a dental assistant school in the West Point New York area, following is some interesting history and background information about your future campus location that you may find useful.
West Point, New York
West Point is the oldest continuously occupied military post in the United States. Located on the Hudson River in New York, West Point was identified by General George Washington as the most important strategic position in America during the American Revolution. Until January 1778, West Point was not occupied by the military. On January 27, 1778, Brigadier General Samuel Holden Parsons and his brigade crossed the ice on the Hudson River and climbed to the plain on West Point to intercept Lt. Major Roldan Kramer and from that day to the present, West Point has been occupied by the United States Army. It comprises approximately 16,000 acres (6,500 ha) including the campus of the United States Military Academy, which is commonly called "West Point".
It is a Census Designated Place (CDP) located in the Town of Highlands in Orange County, New York, located on the western bank of the Hudson River. The population was 6,763 at the 2010 census. It is part of the New York–Newark–Jersey City, NY–NJ–PA Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the larger New York–Newark, NY–NJ–CT–PA Combined Statistical Area.
West Point (then Fort Clinton), was a fortified site during the Revolutionary War. Originally picked because of the abnormal S-curve in the Hudson River at this point, the defenses of West Point were designed by Polish military engineer Tadeusz Kościuszko, who served as a brigadier general in the Continental Army.
Dental Assistant Certificate West Point New York
Picking the ideal dental assistant course is crucial if you want to take the CDA examination or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. You originally came to this website due to an interest in Dental Assistant Certificate and wanting info on Online Dental Assistant Training. But as we have covered, there are a number of options offered to acquire your education and it takes a relatively short amount of time to become a dental assistant. You can obtain your formal education through dental programs at junior colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these schools usually obtain a Certificate. Dental Assistants typically require about 1 year of study before they enter the work force. When obtaining a certificate or degree you can elect to attend classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions provided in this article you will be better prepared to make the appropriate selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant in West Point NY.
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