2018-2019 Catalog & Student Handbook 
    May 23, 2019  
2018-2019 Catalog & Student Handbook [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Dental Assisting, Certificate

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Germanna Community College offers a Certificate in Dental Assisting. The program consists of a combination of traditional and clinical learning modalities. The curriculum is designed to prepare selected students to serve in a dynamic and growing health profession as valuable members of the Dental Health team. The program is also designed to accommodate those students who wish to advance to the Dental Assisting II registration and/or matriculate to an Associate of Applied Science in Dental Hygiene at Northern Virginia Community College.

Admission Requirements: All students will be required to demonstrate college readiness through assessment and/or transcript review and may be required to take placement tests in math, writing, and reading to aid in placing students in the appropriate courses. Students who do not meet required placement levels must enroll in developmental studies courses.

Program Goals:

  1. Graduates will demonstrate competency in ethics, values, skills and knowledge of dental assisting practice.
  2. Graduates will increase the efficiency and efficacy of dental care in the private and public dental practice, associated industries, and through community service.
  3. Graduates will demonstrate a commitment to professional development and life-long learning in the dental profession.
  4. Graduates will practice as a fully functioning Dental Assistant II as defined by the Virginia Board of Dentistry.
  5. Graduates will possess the professional soft skills associated with higher education attainment.

Purpose: The curriculum is designed to prepare selected students to serve in a dynamic and growing health profession as valuable members of the Dental Health team. The student will be eligible to take the Dental Assisting National Board Examination as part of the program.

Transfer Information: Although transfer is not the primary purpose of a certificate program, GCC credits may transfer to other associate degree programs and/or senior institutions. Students interested in transfer should contact a counselor or their faculty advisor early in their program.

Special Accreditation Status: The program in dental assisting is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation and has been granted the accreditation status of “approval without reporting requirements”. The Commission is a specialized accrediting body recognized by the United States Department of Education. The Commission on Dental Accreditation can be contacted at (312) 440-4653 or at 211 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. The Commission’s web address is: http://www.ada.org/en/coda. Germanna’s next site visit is scheduled for Fall 2019.

Essential Dental Assisting Functions: To successfully complete all components of the Program, the student must be able to perform all of the essential functions of a dental assistant:

  1. Possess front desk and chairside clinical skills including the abilities to see and hear adequately to note slight changes in the client’s conditions and to hear adequately to perceive and interpret various equipment signals.
  2. Possess a good attitude and dedication toward other members of the health care team and patients.
  3. Be a team player, take initiative and be responsible.
  4. Maintain patient confidentiality and communicate satisfactorily with clients, physicians, peers, family members, and the health care team
  5. Demonstrate sensitivity to patient needs.
  6. Show empathy.
  7. Demonstrate adequate eye/hand coordination for dexterity in manipulation of hand instruments and other equipment used in clinical practice.
  8. Manage the care of a client in a sudden emergency, including one-man CPR when necessary.
  9. Possess the visual acuity to correctly read handwritten orders, medication records, chart contents, and provide safety for clients.

Despite the foregoing, a qualified person with a disability who can perform these essential functions with reasonable accommodation will be considered for admission along with other qualified applicants.

Occupational Objectives: This program is designed to provide essential technological and practical knowledge required for a Dental Assistant I to perform efficiently in a dental office. Training experiences in nearby dental clinics and private dental offices are provided.

General Admission Requirements: Applicant selection into the Dental Assisting Program is selective and competitive, students are admitted annually. For more information on the application process, students should visit the department website at http://www.germanna.edu/dental/dental-assisting/ or call the department office at (540) 423- 9823 or (540) 423-9833. To qualify to apply to the Dental Assisting Certificate Program, all interested students must complete the following:

  • An application to Germanna Community College
  • Have on file with Admissions and Records a High School or Home School Diploma or GED
  • Have passed MTE 1 -MTE 2  within the last 5 years
  • Have a GPA of 2.0 or greater and demonstrated competency in Math (MTE 1 -MTE 2 ) & ENG 111  eligible.
  • Have college transcripts or joint services on file with Admissions and Records if applicable.
  • Have completed the TEAS
  • If there are more qualified applicants than spaces available, student selection will be made in a blinded fashion using the TEAS test, the student’s GPA, essay score, letter of recommendation, and the number of credits completed towards completion of the DA certificate. Students with highest combined scores and number of credits toward graduation will be selected.
  • A two to three paragraph essay is also included along with two letters of recommendation with the application packet.
  • The essays are evaluated by the Director of the DA program, DA faculty and a member of the Diversity Council using a rubric. The Registrar attends but does not vote. Students receiving the top mean rubric score from these evaluations are admitted to the Dental Assisting Certificate program.
  • Applications for the Certificate in Dental Assisting Program are due by October 1. Applicants’ transcripts, answers to essay questions, letters of recommendation, and dental assisting pre-admission test scores will be evaluated and ranked according to the requirements and priorities noted above. Final decisions regarding admission are made by a Dental Assisting Admissions Committee. Dental Assisting Faculty, the Dean of Nursing and Health Technologies, a science faculty member, and a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Council comprise this committee.
  • The number of qualified applicants offered admission to the dental assisting program is contingent upon the space available in the classrooms and dental laboratories, the program’s access to sufficient clinical spaces in the region’s healthcare settings in order to meet the program’s learning outcomes, and the number of qualified dental assisting faculty to teach the students in classrooms, labs, and clinical settings.

Additional Admission Requirements/Recommendations:

  1. It is recommended that students pass all General Education courses with a “C” or better prior to admission into the program.
  2. Students may be required to repeat courses or to complete evaluative testing for credits earned more than ten years ago.
  3. Since the dental assistant program has many applicants and the number of admissions is contingent upon available faculty and classroom and clinical spaces, the expected time it will take a student to earn the degree may exceed 11 months. Applicants are advised to complete the general education courses, especially NAS 150: Human Biology  or BIO 141: Human Anatomy and Physiology I , prior to entering the first dental assisting major course.
  4. It is recommended that students attend an information session.

Special Program Requirements: Applicants will be expected to have earned a”C”or better in all general education courses in the Certificate program. The Commonwealth of Virginia Board of Dentistry reserves the right to deny licensure to any candidate who has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude or the use of drugs or alcohol to the extent that such use renders him/her unsafe to practice dental assisting. Any applicant who has been found guilty of a misdemeanor or felony must consult with the Dental Assisting Program Director prior to admission.

Germanna Community College complies with all recommendations and requirements issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Any prospective students interested in receiving a copy of the program’s policies on bloodborne pathogens should contact the Program Director at 540-423-9823 or mmesimer@germanna.edu.

Responsibilities of Dental Assisting Students:

The following are responsibilities of students in the Dental Assisting Program:

  1. To prepare students for the high ethical standards of the health professions, the College expects absolute academic integrity both in the classroom and in clinical practice. Therefore, cheating, attempting to cheat, plagiarizing, lying, stealing academic work which includes secured tests or related materials, submitting papers purchased or written by others, or failing to report an occurrence of academic dishonesty or any violation of this honor code may subject the student to the College’s disciplinary procedures as defined in the GCC Student Handbook.
  2. Students in dental assisting program incur a variety of expenses in addition to college tuition and fees. These include, but are not limited to, the cost of uniforms, accessories, and travel to clinical assignments. Students are also responsible for testing fees.
  3. A strict dress code is required in the clinical setting. Students may be dismissed if they fail to comply with this dress code.
  4. The College reserves the right to require students to obtain and maintain at their own expense liability/malpractice insurance with a carrier authorized to transact such business in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Whether or not insurance appropriate to the program is required, students are encouraged to carry such insurance on their own.
  5. Students are required to complete learning experiences at local clinics, private offices, and/or other community-based agencies. Students may be required to attend both day and/or evening clinical assignments.
  6. Students must provide their own transportation to clinical assignments. Strict attendance is required at clinical sites.
  7. Students may utilize the resources of the assigned clinical affiliate, at the discretion of the assigned clinical affiliate, for emergency medical treatment for injuries or illness that may occur during the time period when students are assigned to the health care facility. The student is responsible for any expenses incurred for this treatment.
  8. Students must comply with all clinical contract protocols including immunization requirements, drug screening and background checks.
  9. Students must keep their CPR certifications current.
  10. While enrolled in clinical courses, students may not replace or take the responsibility of “qualified” staff in affiliated facilities. However, after demonstrating proficiency, students may be permitted to perform specified procedures under careful supervision. Students may be employed in clinical facilities outside regular education hours provided that such work does not interfere with academic responsibilities. The work must be non-compulsory and subject to employee regulations. Any exception must have the approval of the Dean of Nursing and Health Technologies. Unless formally employed by the clinical site or the College, students are not covered under OSHA regulations or worker’s compensation laws.
  11. Students are expected to demonstrate professional behavior consistent with standards associated with health care practitioners.

Continuation Requirements for Dental Assisting Students

The following continuation requirements govern students in the Dental Assisting Program:

  1. Each course in the program major must be completed with a grade of “C”or better before taking the next course in the sequence and to satisfy graduation requirements, unless waived by the Division Dean upon the recommendation of the Program Director.
  2. All courses in the major must be taken in the sequence prescribed in the GCC Catalog, unless otherwise approved by the Program Director.
  3. To pass a course students must successfully complete both the didactic (classroom) and the clinical/lab requirements.
  4. Program faculty and clinical affiliates reserve the right to recommend, through appropriate channels, withdrawal of any student who exhibits unsafe performance or non-adherence to prescribed clinical affiliate policies and procedures.
  5. Satisfactory physical and mental health must be maintained for continuance in the program. Applicants must be free of any physical and/or mental condition that might adversely affect their acceptance or performances in the program. The College reserves the right to require medical examinations and drug testing to verify continuing compliance. Students with pre-existing physical and/or mental conditions which might adversely affect performance in the program who do not self-disclose this information are subject to dismissal from the program.
  6. Students with criminal convictions who do not self-disclose this information are subject to dismissal from the program.

Program Re-Enrollment Requirements for Dental Assisting Students

Any student who has voluntarily withdrawn or who has been withdrawn due to unsatisfactory academic or clinical performance may apply for re-admission the following academic year. Acceptance will be based upon space availability, successful fulfillment of any contingencies agreed to in writing at the time of withdrawal, and Program Director approval. An interview and medical examination may be required.

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