Dental assistants work closely with, and under the supervision of dentists to perform a variety of patient care, office and laboratory duties. They must be a second pair of hands for the dentist; therefore, dentists look for reliable and trained individuals to fill this role.
The Dental Assisting program is designed to introduce students to the field of dentistry. A thorough analysis of pre-clinical dental assisting skills will be made through lectures and hands on laboratory experiences. Some of the topics covered will include dental terminology, dental anatomy, charting, and sterilization.
Wendi Hulsey, instructor for the program, feels confident that this program will provide the training individuals need to be successful in the field. “Following completion of this certificate course, students will be armed with the knowledge and skills needed to care for patients, take dental X-rays, function as a chairside assistant proficient in infection control and work in dental office management,” Hulsey said. “Graduates will be eligible to secure entry level positions as a chairside assistant or receptionist in general or specialty dental offices.”
With dental assisting expected to be one of the fastest growing employment fields over the next few years, this training is in high demand.
“Our goal was to develop a program that would not only meet the needs of local dental offices, but to create a potential career path for individuals in our community,” said Sharon Woodward, WKU Director of Continuing Education. “Some displaced workers and graduating seniors are not interested in attending a two- to four-year program. This course was designed with the objective of getting folks into a workplace in six months.”
The program will be 18 weeks in length meeting on alternating weekends. Classes will begin meeting on July 9 on the WKU campus. Although the registration deadline is June 18, those interested are encouraged to register now because class size is limited.
For information on the Dental Assisting program, visit the Continuing Education website at www.wku.edu/continuinged/dental/ or call (270) 745-1912. Continuing Education is a unit of the Division of Extended Learning and Outreach (DELO).
Contact: Jennifer Perry, (270) 745-1926.