Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene Programs as Professional Partners
The Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene Programs will share the educational facilities and faculty will be working to develop a variety of opportunities for students and faculty in both Programs to work and learn together. It will be important for everyone to develop an understanding of both professions and learn about their potential contributions to the overall practice of dentistry.
The goal is to develop a true sense of teamwork, based on mutual respect for the unique and common characteristics of each profession and the special attributes of every individual involved. This will help students transition to clinical practice where the importance of each profession and each professional can be truly appreciated.
It is expected that students and faculty will develop a collegial and supportive environment for learning and working. Effective communication and teamwork are essential, especially in the early stages of this transition. One factor that will help the community recognize the importance of both professions will be to always refer to the DACC clinical facility as “the Dental Clinic” – not “the Dental Hygiene Clinic” or “the Dental Assisting Clinic”.
Faculty will work to develop opportunities outside of the professional educational curricula where students from both programs can participate. For example, students could work together at health fairs, community service projects or in fund raising activities which could be used to support professional development. If you have ideas about how to help bond the two programs please contribute your suggestions.
The DAS program combines classroom learning with hands-on practical learning. Students will learn in our campus dental clinic as well as with our contracted dental offices off-campus. All students challenge the Dental Assisting National Board Radiation Health and Safety exam during the first semester in order to begin their radiology certification process for the New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care.
The yearly employment average for graduates from the program is 98%.