Dental assisting department program overview

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The following information will assist in planning for an exciting and challenging year of study in the Dental Assisting Program.

The 12-month program runs from June to June. In the first term, lecture classes are from 8AM to 12:00PM Monday through Thursday. We recommend not taking other classes and restricting work hours during this program, because of the amount of time you need to devote to classes and studying.

In the second term, classes are from 8AM to 4:15PM Monday through Thursday and from 8AM to 2:15 PM on Friday. Lecture classes are scheduled in the mornings and laboratory or clinical sessions are in the afternoons. At the end of October the Broward Dental Research Clinic begins scheduling patients for the Dental Assisting Program. At this point, students will work on-campus with dentists and patients from the surrounding community, thereby gaining practical and useful professional experience. In addition to the on-campus duties, students will be assigned to off-campus dental offices and the Nova Southeastern School of Dental Medicine for clinical experience.

In the third term, classes are from 8AM to 4:15PM Monday and Wednesday, 12:30PM to 4:15 PM Tuesday and Thursday and 8AM to 2:30PM on Friday. Lecture classes are scheduled in the mornings and laboratory or clinical sessions are in the afternoons. The dental office and Nova Southeastern externship program continue.

The fourth term consists of one lecture class and an off-campus externship in which students will work for three weeks in a general dental office and three weeks in a specialty office. The externship provides experience and opportunity and will provide guidance when choosing future employment. Students MUST adhere to the hours of the dental externship office.

In June, the national certification examination is given. Upon successful completion of this examination, students are entitled to write the initials CDA (Certified Dental Assistant) after their name. Completion of the Dental Assisting Program certifies students in the expanded functions that are recognized by the State of Florida. This includes certification in dental radiography.

The Applied Technical Diploma and the DANB CDA certification prepare students for a position as a professional dental assistant working as a member of the dental health team. Job opportunities are numerous, and the clinic has a job-posting employment book to assist in obtaining a position.

The duties a dental assistant is expected to perform include business activities utilizing a computer. The dental program does not specifically include a computer course. Computers are available in the Learning Resources Laboratory to practice skills.

A career in Dental Assisting means close and direct involvement with the health of patients. As a result professional attire and personal grooming are important, not only to the dental profession, but to the public as well. You will be a representative of the dental team and must be an example to those with whom you come in contact. Therefore, regulations about uniforms and personal grooming are necessary and need to be followed.

Uniforms are worn to dental assisting laboratory, and clinical classes. Uniforms can be purchased from the bookstore prior to the beginning of classes. Hair is worn off the face, neck and collar in an acceptable style. Nails are short with clear polish, if desired. Acceptable jewelry is: plain wedding band, if married; pierced earrings that are
studs of spherical design which are 6mm or less, (no hoops or loops) gold, silver, pearl, diamond or colored gemstone and a maximum of one earring in each ear lobe.

The total cost of the Program for an in-state student is approximately $9,000. This is not due at one time, but is spread over the four terms.

Prior to starting the program, students are required to take the 75 contact hour Health Career Core, HCP 0001 and 20 contact hours of courses through the Health Sciences Continuing Education Department (954-201-6768). The 20 contact hours include HSC0382 - AIDS, HSC0522 - TB/OSHA, HSC0405- CPR (BCLS-C), and HSC0691 - Domestic Violence. The department recommends students take HCP 0001 ASAP as this course is valid for ten years. The continuing education courses should only be taken after receipt of the acceptance letter. Copies of the certificates must be turned into the department Executive Assistant, Deloris Lee, prior to the start of the program. These requirements MUST be met in order to work on patients during the first semester of the program.

*Questions should be directed to the Associate Dean at 954-201-6904.

*Questions about admissions status must be directed to the Health Science Admissions office at 954-201-6056.

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