Prepares Students for a Bureau of Labor Statistics-Rated “Fastest Growing” Career

Thursday, November 20, 2014 9:37 PM

Fortis Institute in West Palm Beach has launched a Dental Assisting program, offering area students an education in what the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts will remain one of the nation’s fastest-growing careers.

The campus currently is enrolling students for Dental Assisting classes that will begin soon. In preparation for the program start, President Fabian Fernandez says the campus has completed a new, six-station dental lab where students can receive hands-on training and be able to practice their dental skills.

“The program is a great opportunity for area residents interested in careers in healthcare – especially at a time when unemployment remains high in certain job categories,” Fernandez said. “While jobs are never certain in any profession, healthcare just might be among the nation’s most recession-proof careers, especially as medical options and coverage expand.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 Occupational Outlook Handbook, there could be as many as 70,000 new dental assistant job openings nationwide through 2022. Employment growth for dental assistants is projected at nearly 25%, which is “much faster than the average.” U.S. News & World Report Money ( ranks dental assisting in its Top 30 healthcare jobs, adding the profession offers “high upward mobility and above average flexibility.”

Dental assistants perform a variety of patient care, office and laboratory duties, often working in dental practices, mobile dental units, hospitals, nursing homes, insurance companies and healthcare facilities. Fortis Institute’s Dental Assisting program provides students with hands-on strategies and techniques for working chair-side with dentists as they examine and treat patients

Upon completion of the program, Fortis graduates will be prepared for entry-level employment opportunities as dental assistants in a variety of workplaces.

“Working as a dental assistant is rewarding, in and of itself,” notes Rita Eaton, the campus’ program director for Dental Assisting. “Beyond that, the experience they receive  working with patients, learning safety procedures, and understanding a dental office’s logistics may lead to expanded responsibilities, career advancement, and financial rewards as well.”