San Jacinto College to introduce dental assisting program in Fall 2012
Jeannie Peng-Armao -- May 1, 2012
PASADENA, Texas — San Jacinto College (SJC) will introduce a dental assisting program in Fall 2012 to offer students a one-year certificate toward becoming nationally certified in one of the fastest growing occupation areas.
As public demand for dental care increases, so do the employment opportunities. Job prospects for dental assistants are predicted to be excellent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS estimates that employment in dental offices will increase by approximately 31 percent over the next eight years.
“There is a greater awareness of the importance of good dental hygiene, and advances in the dental industry have been phenomenal," said Veronica Jammer, dean of health sciences at the SJC Central Campus. “People are taking better care of their teeth, and they are having more procedures done to sustain their natural teeth.”
Dentists hire assistants to perform more of the routine dental tasks, which allow them to have more time to perform more complex procedures. The staffing pattern of most dental offices consists of one dentist, one dental hygienist, and one or more dental assistants. This ratio is expected to increase, according to the BLS.
"The San Jacinto College dental assisting program will prepare the graduate to take the national dental assisting certification and applicable state credentialing," said Jammer. "The certificate curriculum will be designed to provide graduates maximum opportunity to continue their formal education with minimum duplication of learning experiences."
Local practitioners will also benefit by having dental auxiliaries who are trained and certified, not only in basic dental concepts, including chair-side assisting, but also in areas such as radiology, infection control, office medical emergencies, computer skills, and patient interactions.
Jammer said the SJC health sciences division is working closely with professional and community partners to enhance the delivery of the new dental assisting program. She added that the division hopes to expand the program to include an associate degree in the near future.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
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