ENTERPRISE—This April, Enterprise State Community College (ESCC) will offer a new Dental Assistant program, providing instruction and training for one of the fastest-growing healthcare positions.
Dental assistants work closely with patients and dentists. They perform clinical tasks, such as taking a patient’s medical history, talking to patients about oral care and assisting dentists during a procedure by passing instruments and holding equipment. Dental assistants also perform administrative duties, including documenting procedures and scheduling follow-up appointments for patients.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of dental assistants is projected to grow 7% from 2019 to 2029, which is faster than the average for all occupations.
“Locally, dental assisting is one of the 25 fastest growing occupations in Region 6, a 10-county workforce region that includes Coffee County,” Director of Workforce Development and Adult Education Leigh Shiver said. “Clearly, there is a high demand in our area, and we pride ourselves on meeting workforce needs here at Enterprise State. We are excited to offer this program to our community to meet that need for dental assistants.”
The first class of the 100-hour program will be held April 19. The program consists of 60 classroom hours and 40 clinical hours. Classroom hours will take place every Monday and Wednesday starting April 19 from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
In the classroom, students will cover a variety of topics, including the history of dentistry and dental assisting and the legal aspects of dentistry. During clinicals, students can expect to be introduced to oral anatomy, dental equipment, the oral cavity and related structures, sterilization and more.
ESCC’s Dental Assistant program meets the necessary requirements to take the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) Radiology Health and Safety (RHS) exam as well as the National Workforce Career Association (NWCA) Dental Assisting (DACC) exam. These exams provide recognized certifications that will help graduates stand out to employers.
“Our goal is to make sure that our students are fully prepared to join the workforce,” Shiver said. “We want them to have the education and training needed to succeed, and with the addition of these two certifications, they will have a competitive edge when applying for jobs.”
Students interested in the program should have or be pursuing a high school diploma or GED. Cost for the program, which includes textbooks, is $1,499. The last day to register for the program is April 16.