How Do I Become A Dental Assistant
Becoming a dental assistant can take a few different paths. While there may be opportunities to learn how to be a dental assistant through on-the-job training depending on your state regulations, the journey often begins with education.
These are the most common steps to becoming a dental assistant:
Penn Foster Medical Assistant Program Reviews
If you want to pursue your career in medical healthcare, Penn Foster Medical Assistant Program is a great choice for you. With Penn Foster, you can really learn the skills regardless of the medical assistant program including the basics of clinical procedures, medical terminology and many more.
Even though Penn Foster has become a trusted online learning school, but seeking out the reviews about the Medical Assistant Program is a must. After knowing what people say about this program, you can then determine whether Penn Foster Medical Assistant Program is worthy or not.
So, lets dive into our post to find out the reviews and everything about the Penn Foster Medical Assistant Program!
Why Should You Choose Penn Foster Medical Assistant Program?
The Medical Assistant Program is one of the programs available at Penn Foster Career School. There are two types of medical assistant programs: Associate Degree and Career Diploma. It is known that the Medical Assistant Career Diploma is currently in high demand.
Both associate degree and career diploma of Penn Foster Medical Assistant program will lead you to become a professional medical assistant. Penn Foster Medical Assistant really helps you to prepare for your careers in various healthcare facilities including outpatient, doctors office and urgent care clinics and hospitals.
Why you should choose Penn Foster Medical Assistant Program is because this program has earned industry certifications including:
Heres for explanation:
How Long Does It Take To Become A Dental Assistant
The amount of time it takes to become a dental assistant can vary based on several factors, including your states requirements and whether you pursue formal training and education before trying to get a job. Entry-level dental assistants arent necessarily required to earn an associate degree to work in the field most take a career diploma program, which offers a shorter course of study to complete.
Most career diploma programs for dental assisting can take about a year to finish.
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The National Certified Medical Assistant
To receive this certification you are required to be a graduate from an NCCT approved medical assistant program for not more than 10 years.
The renewal of this certification is required yearly and you must pay an annual fee of $77 and submit proof of continuing education hours of 14 or more. The exam cost is $90.
How To Become A Dental Assistant Online
Yes, its possible to become a dental assistant online! Mom of two Severina Jimenez wanted to start working in the medical field and had several friends recommend dentistry. She was able to find an online dental assistant training program, which meant she was able to continue caring for her family and working full-time while completing a program online.
Severina points out that self-paced, online dentist assistant school is different from going to school in a traditional classroom environment. When youre online and not in a traditional classroom, you wont have a teacher in front of you. Instead, look for an online program that provides student support if you feel like youre struggling and can help motivate you.
A good online program will be accredited and offer courses such as:
- Dental Terminology, Anatomy, and Charting
- Preventive Dentistry and Ethics
- Dental Front Office
- Dental Specialties
These courses can help you prepare to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to find a job as a dental assistant. Depending on how much time you have to study, you can finish the program in as little as 4 months and take the next step toward becoming a dental assistant: certification!
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Best Accelerated Program: Us Career Institute Online Medical Assistant Program
US Career Institute Online Medical Assistant Program
- Cost: Roughly $1,200 to $1,500
- Duration: Self-pacedcan complete in as little as 4 months
- Accreditation: Distance Education Accrediting Commission
This low-cost program will help you receive your certification in as little as four months.
Self-paced most students complete the program in 4 to 7 months
Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission
Inexpensive, at about $1,200 when paid in full
Less extensive curriculum than other programs
100% online, no hands-on skills portion
Unclear if you can transfer credits to future programs
The U.S. Career Institute has more than 40 years of experience in distance education and offers a 100% online accelerated medical assistant program you can complete in as little as four months. The program is the most inexpensive program on our list and costs about $1,200 when paid in full. It also offers payment plans at a slightly higher rate if you prefer. There is no tuition assistance, but you may be eligible for student loans or grants through your home state.
Where Can I Work As A Dental Assistant
90% of dental assistants work in a dentists office.* This includes both private dental offices and group practices. Other places dental assistants work can include:
- Dental suppliers
- Dental manufacturing companies
Dental assistants can also work in specialty practices, such as those that focus only on pediatric or geriatric dentistry.
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Pros And Cons To Getting Certified As A Dental Assistant
Potential pros to getting certified as a dental assistant include:
- Certification may help you meet state requirements
- Certification helps you stand out to employers
- Certification affirms you have the knowledge you need to be successful in the field
However, potential cons to getting certified as a dental assistant include:
- You need to pay to take a certification exam
- Taking another, longer exam may not interest you
How To Become A Dental Assistant With No Experience
The best way to become a dental assistant with no experience is through education and training. An in-depth program can cover the basic knowledge and skills you may need to work in a dentists office, from dental anatomy to dental office management. Youll also learn professional skills that can be relevant to any job, such as customer service, teamwork, adaptability, and more.
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Take Your Time And Be Patient With Yourself
Give yourself a whole, full opportunity to work through this exciting stepping-stone. Customize a study plan that works for you. Reach out to teachers if you feel stuck, take exams only when ready, and aim to take small, but steady steps to progress in your path. Be kind, patient, and fair toward yourself before judging your abilities, skills, and potential. – Mariam D., High School Instructor
Medical Transcriptionist Career Outcomes
Graduates of Penn Foster’s Medical Transcriptionist Training Program have gone on to start careers in medical offices, hospital settings, or flexible careers working from home.
State Licensing Requirements
Licensing and/or certification requirements for jobs in certain fields are not the same in every state and may include educational, testing, and/or experiential requirements beyond those offered by your Penn Foster Program. You should contact the state professional licensing board or similar regulatory body in the state where you plan to work to determine their requirements before enrolling in your program. See the State Licensing page for contact information for state licensing/regulatory boards and certain industry licensing information. Penn Foster College is not approved or regulated as a school by the Maryland Higher Education Commission.
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Do I Want To Become A Medical Assistant As Quickly As Possible
On the other hand, if youre seeking a training option that will help position you for a fast-track towards a career as a medical assistant, then the career diploma may be the favorable option for you. The Medical Assistant Career Diploma can be completed in 9 months or less and provides the same core education as the degree alternative. The program also has DEAC accreditation and is recognized by many employers as a boost for your resume.
Upon Completion Of The Program Students Will Be Able To
- Explain the role, responsibilities, scopeof practice, standards of care, and credentials of medical assistants
- Using correct terminology, differentiateamong the structures and their functions within the six levels of structuralorganization of the human body
- Identify etiology, processes, symptoms,and treatments for common diseases
- Apply ethical standards and legalresponsibilities, including those relatedto the confidentiality of personal healthinformation, to patient care
- Describe basic medical administrativetasks using electronic medical recordsoftware
- Perform clinical and laboratory procedures applicable to the role of a medical assistant in medical office and laboratory settings
- Perform administrative duties applicable to the role of a medical assistant in medical office and laboratory settings
Need more info or ready to enroll?
We’re here to help.
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Can You Work As A Dental Assistant Without Being Certified
It depends on where you live and your states requirements for dental assistants. Some states, such as Pennsylvania, dont require you to be certified in order to work as a dental assistant. Others have different requirements and regulations around what specific job tasks you can complete without being certified. Its important to check your states requirements for certification as a dental assistant.
In addition to becoming certified, dental assistants may become registered. Most registered dental assistants complete a dental assistant program accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation . Registered dental assistants generally require more education and are allowed to perform more tasks in the dental office.
Whatever your state requirements, its never a bad idea to be certified. Dental assistant certification can help you stand out when applying for jobs and many employers may prefer to hire certified dental assistants over those who dont have an educational background in the field. In fact, dental assistant that are not certified or have not completed an educational program may be limited in their duties and responsibilities in the office.
You may also be able to earn more if youre a certified dental assistant. Mom of two Eiliana Garcia was already working in a dental office but wanted to advance in her career. After earning her career diploma online and receiving her certification, she earned a pay raise and became the Head Dental Assistant in the office.
What Are The Qualifications To Be A Medical Assistant
An entry level education or post secondary nondegree award can get you started as a medical assistant. You can also train vocationally or in a doctors office to start a career as a medical assistant. There are also opportunities to acquire a diploma or associate degree qualification from medical assistant certification programs.
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Prepare To Take The Next Step Toward A Rewarding Career On Your Schedule
You dont have to push your goals of starting a rewarding career you enjoy to the side. With Penn Fosters flexible, online medical assistant training, you can work toward preparing to become a certified medical assistant from home, when it works for you. Find out more about the program and how to get started by chatting with an Admissions Specialist at today!
Who Is The Ideal Candidate
Healthcare is a noble, highly respected field, but its not easy and its not for the faint of heart. You need a wide variety of attributes to excel in these professions, but most important is a genuine compassion for people in need. As a healthcare professional, youll have to work with people in pain, people who are sick, and people who are struggling with their health. It can be frustrating, but a deep compassion will help get you through. You also need patience, as the healthcare process rarely has fast, immediate results. Healing from injury and sickness usually takes weeks, months, or even years, so patience will be important throughout your career.
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How To Become A Dental Assistant
Reviewed by Jaime Nguyen, MD, MS, MPH and Director of Allied Health Programs at Penn Foster.
Becoming a dental assistant can be a rewarding career path, especially for those who want to work in the medical field and play an important role in patients dental health. Good dental health is critical to a persons overall health since dental problems may lead to nutritional issues, other medical diseases, and poorer quality of life.
If youre considering taking the next steps toward starting a new job in this field, heres what you need to know. Click on the links below to jump through the article or keep reading to learn more about what dental assistants do, what the average salary is, and how you can become one today.
Accessible Learning On The Go
Penn Foster has a custom-built digital learning environment created with you in mind. Our learning platform helps you fit your Penn Foster education into your busy schedule.
- Access your studies at home or on the go from your computer, smartphone, or tablet.
- Track your progress through your program or individual study units with goal-setting and progress-tracking tools.
- Utilize interactive learning tools, including an e-reader with the ability to capture your notes or highlight text in your study materials.
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Online Medical Assistant Program
- Learn the basics of clinical procedures, including anatomy, physiology, and psychology.
- Our online Medical Assistant Program helps prepare students for careers in a variety of healthcare settings, including doctors’ offices, outpatient and urgent care clinics, and hospitals.
- Curriculum can prepare learners to earn industry certifications including:
- The Registered Medical Assistant certification
- The Certified Clinical Medical Assistant certificate
- The National Certified Medical Assistant certificate
- The Clinical Medical Assistant Certification
- The Certified Phlebotomy Technician certification
Save up to $400Ends 7/26/2022
What You Will Learn
State Licensing Requirements
Top 4 Tips For Being Successful In High School
Whether youre exploring high school programs or are currently a student, the feat of finishing your diploma can seem overwhelming. We know that at times, a little motivation and encouragement can help to keep you on track and continue forward to the finish line. Here is some advice from our high school instructors with tips on how to be a successful high school student and make the most of your time in your program.
What Does A Dental Assistant Do
If youre thinking about a job as a dental assistant, the first thing you may be asking yourself is what does a dental assistant do?
Dental assistants play an essential role in a dentists office, working closely with the dentists and patients. Dental assistants are more involved in the administrative and business side of the office, such as scheduling appointments, following up with patients, working with insurance companies, and processing billing and payment information. Theyll also play a role in the clinical aspects of the office by helping to prepare exam rooms, cleaning and sterilizing dental equipment, and processing x-rays. Other common duties of a dental assistant include:
- Keeping records of dental treatments for each patient
- Instructing patients on oral hygiene
- Processing x-rays and completing lab tasks, under the direction of the dentist
- Preparing patients for treatment
- Assisting the dentist with instruments during a procedure
Dental assistants may have fewer duties or more clinical responsibilities depending on which state they work in. Different State Boards of Dentistry have established rules and regulations around what a dental assistant can do.
Best For Registered Medical Assistant: Penn Foster Medical Assistant Associate Degree
Penn Foster Medical Assistant Associate Degree
- Duration: 60 credits, spread over 4 semesters
- Accreditation: DEAC-accredited school
This online self-paced program will help you earn an associates degree and be eligible to sit for the Registered Medical Assistant exam upon completion.
Interactive mobile friendly online learning software
Prepares you to sit one of five national medical assistant exams
Must complete proctored exams each semester
Need to complete externship to gain valuable hands on experience
Program is entirely self paced, so may take longer for those who fall off track easily
Penn Foster is an online school accredited through DEAC that offers three different programs to help you get your designation as a registered medical assistant . You can choose from the diploma program, associates degree, or decide to pursue a bachelor’s degree in healthcare. These self-paced programs are designed to help you prepare for national exams such as the RMA exam, CCMA exam, and others.
Penn Foster offers three different tuition payment plans. The program is inexpensive compared to other programs on our list, and if you choose to pay in full, the cost is roughly $3,600. Tuition includes a voucher for the CCMA exam, all learning materials, and unlimited student support. You also may be able to transfer prior post-secondary credits, which will save you some money, and if you are a veteran, you may qualify for a discount.