Career and Education Opportunities for Dental Assistants in Brownsville, Texas
Brownsville, Texas provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for dental assistants. There are currently 18,190 working dental assistants in Texas; this should grow by 38% to about 25,070 working dental assistants in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for dental assistants are expected to grow by about 35.8%. Dental assistants generally assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.
The income of a dental assistant is about $14 hourly or $30,990 per year on average in Texas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $15 hourly or $32,380 yearly on average. Incomes for dental assistants are better than in the overall category of Medical and Dental Assistance in Texas, and better than the overall Medical and Dental Assistance category nationally. Jobs in this field include: dentist attendant, dental aide, and orthodontist assistant.
The Brownsville area is home to ten schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Brownsville where you can get a degree as a dental assistant. Given that the most common education level for dental assistants is a post-secondary certificate, you can expect to spend a short time training to become a dental assistant if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Dental Assistant
In general, dental assistants assist dentist, set up patient and equipment, and keep records.
Dental assistants ready patients, sterilize and disinfect instruments, prepare instrument trays and assist dentists during dental procedures. They also expose dental diagnostic x-rays. Equally important, dental assistants have to provide postoperative instructions prescribed by dentists. They are often called upon to pour and polish study casts. They are expected to record treatment data in patient archives. Finally, dental assistants order and monitor dental supplies and apparatus inventory.
Every day, dental assistants are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.
It is important for dental assistants to take and record medical and dental histories and vital signs of patients. They are often called upon to instruct patients in oral hygiene and plaque control programs. They also clean and polish removable appliances. They are sometimes expected to schedule appointments, ready bills and receive payment for dental services, complete insurance forms, and maintain records, manually or using computer. Somewhat less frequently, dental assistants are also expected to apply protective coating of fluoride to teeth.
and make preliminary impressions for study casts and occlusal registrations for mounting study casts. And finally, they sometimes have to clean and polish removable appliances.
Like many other jobs, dental assistants must have a strong concern for others and be reliable.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Brownsville include:
- Medical Assistant. Perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physician.
- Medical Equipment Technician. Prepare, sterilize, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment. May perform routine laboratory tasks and operate or inspect equipment.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Dental Assistant Training
South Texas Vo-Tech Institute - Weslaco, TX
South Texas Vo-Tech Institute, 2419 E Haggar Ave, Weslaco, TX 78596. South Texas Vo-Tech Institute is a small school located in Weslaco, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 266 students. South Texas Vo-Tech Institute has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant.
Texas State Technical College Harlingen - Harlingen, TX
Texas State Technical College Harlingen, 1902 North Loop 499, Harlingen, TX 78550-3697. Texas State Technical College Harlingen is a medium sized college located in Harlingen, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,477 students. Texas State Technical College Harlingen has a one to two year program in Dental Assisting/Assistant which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Associate Fellow: Your Associate Fellow certificate lets your patients know that you are an experienced, credentialed implant professional.
For more information, see the American Academy of Implant Dentistry website.
Registered Dental Assistant: A Dental Assistant is an integral member of the dental health team, competent via education, experience, and understanding of patient welfare.
For more information, see the American Medical Technologists website.
Certified Othodontic Assistant: The COA examination in Orthodontic Assisting was added in 1986 to offer credentialing for assistants specializing in orthodontic assisting procedures.
For more information, see the Dental Assisting National Board website.
Certified Dental Technician: Certification is the process of assessing a dental technician's knowledge and applied skill level necessary to perform the tasks required of a dental technician.
For more information, see the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Brownsville, Texas
Brownsville is situated in Cameron County, Texas. It has a population of over 175,494, which has grown by 25.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Brownsville, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Brownsville cost $102,100 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, four hundred sixty-four new homes were constructed in Brownsville, down from eight hundred sixty-one the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Brownsville are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 20 minutes. More than 13.4% of Brownsville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 5.1%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Brownsville is 10.8%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Brownsville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.8%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Calvario Lutheran Church, Primera Iglesia Presbiteriana Mexicana Church and Church of Christ are some of the churches located in Brownsville. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Brownsville is home to the Resaca de la Palma Battlefield and the Miguel Fernandez Hide Yard as well as Friendship Gardens and Washington Park. Visitors to Brownsville can choose from Best Western Rose Garden Inn, Comfort Inn and Best Value Colonial Hotel for temporary stays in the area.