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High school requirements for dental hygienists?

I'm considering a career as a dental hygienist, and I'm wondering what high school courses I should be taking to prepare myself. Any advice on which classes are important for pursuing this career path?

6 months ago

Course selection in high school can be incredibly helpful for building a strong foundation in pursuing a career as a dental hygienist. Here's a list of important classes for you to consider:

1. Science courses: Taking as many science classes as possible will be beneficial, as dental hygiene programs often have prerequisites in these subjects. Focus on biology, chemistry, and physics to develop a solid understanding of these sciences. Advanced Placement (AP) courses in these subjects can also be advantageous.

2. Mathematics: Strong math skills are crucial for dental hygienists, so make sure to take algebra, geometry, and possibly even calculus or statistics. Excelling in these subjects will help you handle some of the more technical aspects of dental hygiene.

3. English and communication: Dental hygienists must be able to communicate effectively with patients and colleagues. To improve your communication skills, take courses in English, literature, speech, or debate.

4. Health and nutrition: Classes in health and nutrition will help you develop an understanding of general health principles that are essential for dental hygienists. Knowing how oral health affects overall health will be crucial in your career.

5. Psychology and sociology: Understanding human behavior and social patterns will be helpful in dealing with patients daily. Courses in psychology and/or sociology can provide valuable insights that enhance your ability to empathize and interact with a diverse patient population.

6. Anatomy and physiology: If your high school offers anatomy and physiology courses, definitely consider taking them. They provide a crucial foundation in understanding the structures and functions of the human body, particularly the oral cavity.

7. Foreign language: Learning a second language can be an asset, as it will allow you to communicate with more patients. Spanish, in particular, can be valuable in many areas of the United States.

8. Extracurricular activities: Participate in clubs or activities related to health care, such as the Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) club or volunteering at a local hospital or dental clinic. This experience will expose you to the health care field and give you a glimpse into the day-to-day life of a dental hygienist.

Ultimately, focusing on a rigorous course load in high school will prepare you well for dental hygiene programs and set you on the right path to success in this rewarding career.

6 months ago

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