SJVC Dental Assisting program now available in Hesperia
November will see the first class of Dental Assisting program students on the Hesperia campus, and staff and faculty could not be more excited. “The Registered Dental Assisting (RDA) program adds another quality offering to support the medical community,” says Richard Matley, Campus Director.
The 9-month certificate program provides those interested in a Dental Assisting career with a new resource for training in that field. “The High Desert community has been without a Registered Dental Assisting college program for a couple of years,” says Matley. “There is a need in the community for qualified, trained RDAs.”
Students already enrolled at the Hesperia campus program are glad they will not have to make the minimum 45-minute drive to the Inland Empire to get the training they need to become a Dental Assistant.
SJVC’s Dental Assisting program provides classroom education and laboratory experience in performing X-rays, coronal polishing, pit and fissure sealant treatments to prevent tooth decay, and other skills necessary to obtain appropriate certificates and licensure.
“I feel our program is very professional,” says Laura St. George, Dental Assisting Program Director. “We have the latest in technology in the dental lab.”
The new Dental Assisting program includes a 15-week externship that Dental Assisting students participate in toward the end of their program. In the real-world environment of a participating dental practice, students demonstrate the skills and professionalism they have acquired during their program.
Many dental offices are partnering with SJVC to provide on-the-job experience for those students about to graduate. Other dental practices are just happy that there will be more well-trained professionals in the field from which they might recruit new dental assisting talent.
“For some offices, there is the excitement of having the resource in the area and possibly becoming externship sites to partner in the training of future Registered Dental Assistants,” says Matley. “For others, there is a great sense of relief to know that there is a developing local talent pool of qualified RDAs from which to hire.”
Graduates of the Hesperia campus’ newest program will be eager to sit for the State Dental Assistant test to become a Registered Dental Assistant. SJVC’s Dental Assisting program provides a lot of support for students as they prepare for that all-important exam.
“SJVC provides a Registered Dental Assisting licensure review seminar and supplies the books to study for the license. SJVC also pays for the test the first time it’s taken [by each graduate],” says St. George.
By the time they complete their program, Dental Assisting graduates will have had lots of hands-on experience working with those in the community who come to the campus for free-of-charge dental services.
“This is Hesperia’s fourth medical-focused program, joining Medical Assisting, Medical Office Administration, and Pharmacy Technology,” says Matley. “The addition of Dental Assisting brings the opportunity to educate the community regarding health across the body. As a campus, we can bring awareness to our community about the interrelation of dental health and other health issues.”
With the addition of this very popular program, the Hesperia campus is further establishing itself as a quality educator and provider of specialized career training to the benefit of its community.
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