Monroe 2-Orleans BOCES recently received some exciting news. The Career and Technical Education (CTE) Dental Assisting Program at WEMOCO is now a New York State Office of Professions Registered Dental Assisting program.
While the Dental Assisting program has been a New York State Education Department (NYSED) Approved CTE Program for a number of years, CTE and teacher Jennifer Probst pursued the additional accreditation by the NYSED Office of Professions during the 2019-20 school year. The new accreditation resulted in the program being listed on the Inventory of Registered Programs. This is the equivalent of an approved one-year course of college study.
As a state registered program, the Dental Assisting program will better serve students and the dental community. Students can increase their knowledge and provide dental supportive services by performing expanded functions such as taking dental x-rays, removing sutures, and selecting and pre-fitting provisional crowns and orthodontic bands. Upon completion of the two-year program, students who earn their 200 work-based learning hours through internships are now eligible to sit for the New York State Professional Dental Assisting examination. Once they pass the exam, they may use the title of Certified/Registered Dental Assistant (RDA) after their names to identify that they are licensed and registered to practice as dental assistants in New York State. Previously, students completing the Dental Assisting program needed to gain two years of experience as a practicing dental assistant to be eligible to sit for the state licensing exam.
“Our students can be hired right out of the program,” said Probst. “Many of them even secure jobs prior to ending their internships in their senior year. This program prepares students to be more employable in the dental field, and the program also serves the dental community by providing highly qualified dental assistants that doctors can delegate to and depend on.”
With a shortage of healthcare personnel, including dental assistants, local industry partners appreciate the Dental Assisting program at BOCES 2’s CTE Center. “A licensed dental assistant is in high demand, not only because they are trained in dentistry, but because they are able to perform many other duties, helping the doctor become more productive and making the office run more efficiently,” said Dr. Oliver Cabrera of Greece Family Dentistry and Implantology. “Jennifer Probst and the CTE program have been wonderful partners in the dental community, producing skilled dental assistants to help offices throughout Monroe County and New York State.”
Robert A. Lang Jr., DDS, whose practice has been partnering with the CTE Dental Assisting program for over 35 years, said, “I have had many students shadow and intern at our office over the years, and it is an outstanding program. I am incredibly happy and excited that they now will have a certified licensing program! It is great for the dental community to have more qualified dental assistants available. Congratulations to CTE for working hard to organize and get this program implemented!”