Clinical Course Prerequisites:
Before entering the clinical portion of the dental assisting program, students are required to attend a mandatory pre-clinical on-campus student orientation. Students will be informed of the meeting date during their registration meeting prior to the preclinical semester. Any student who does not attend the mandatory orientation risks forfeiting their seat in the program.
Applicants considering dental assisting need to be aware that this program is academically rigorous and physically demanding, requiring long periods of time in a particular position, often standing or seated. Tasks require hand-eye coordination, visual acuity, fine motor dexterity and close focus vision.
The Programs teach and utilize the Center for Disease Control Infection Control Guidelines. (www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/rec-vac/hcw.html) and therefore all Dental Health program students must fulfill the requirements of completing specified immunizations and titres. These immunizations and titres include the following: Hepatitis B vaccine series with titre indicating immunity*; varicella vaccine, history of the disease, or titre indicating immunity; tetanus within the past 10 years; current influenza vaccine each year enrolled in the clinical coursework; and a tuberculin skin test on an annual basis.
*The CDC recommends repeating the Hepatitis B vaccine series and titre if the initial titre does not indicate immunity. If after a second series, the titre does not indicate immunity, the individual is considered a non-responder. Non-responders should be considered susceptible to Hepatitis B Virus and should be counseled by their own healthcare provider regarding the risks of working in the healthcare field as a non-responder. Being a non-responder does not preclude students from participating in the dental assisting program or profession, however, it is imperative that students be aware of their immune status to properly manage post exposure incidents.
Medical insurance coverage is strongly recommended for all Dental Health Program students. Students are responsible for any costs incurred in the event of an exposure incident.
Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR):
Students must obtain certification in healthcare-provider level cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and maintain it throughout their preclinical and clinical semesters. Students are advised to consult with the Dental Health programs Clinical and Laboratory Coordinator prior to enrolling in a CPR course, as not all courses meet this requirement.
Applicants to the Dental Assisting program should be aware that a criminal background check will be required prior to beginning clinical externships and as a condition of professional employment. Internship sites may limit or deny clinical privileges to those who have a prior or current criminal record. If denied clinical privileges, the student is at risk of not being able to obtain the number of clinical hours required for graduation. Students will be expected to provide clinical externship sites with a current background check at the request of the externship sites, with associated expenses the students’ responsibility. Students will be directed to complete the background check with the appropriate entity during the fall semester prior to externships.
It is the intention of the University of Maine at Augusta that every degree graduate will be prepared to function in our society as an effective and informed citizen. To this end, the faculty has designed a set of minimum expectations that students are expected to satisfy. The aspirations are defined by core skills, competencies, and abilities as well as knowledge based learning experiences that are the grounds for the General Education Requirements. To learn more, visit www.uma.edu/academics/general-education/