Service to the Armed Forces program in Fairbanks welcomes fourth Dental Assistant Training Program cohort

By Brian Trinh/American Red Cross of Alaska

The American Red Cross of Alaska Service to the Armed Forces program in Fairbanks will kick off classes for its fourth Dental Assistant Training Program (DATP) cohort on January 8, 2020. This program has been instrumental in developing qualified individuals to fill key positions at various military treatment facilities across the state.

The Dental Assistant Training Program is a tuition-free, 6 month program covering 720-740 hours of training, including four weeks of didactic training, followed by five months of supervised practice. The program provides a great mixture of classroom education, hands-on training and real-world experience. Training classes are held Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and at the culmination of the program, each trainee is evaluated, graduates, and is provided with a letter of reference to jump-start their new-found career!

2019 Dental Assistant Program Graduation
Students attend the 2019 Dental Assistant Training Program graduation in Fairbanks, AK.

According to the American Dental Association, dental assistants perform many tasks requiring both interpersonal and technical skills, which are invaluable to the support of the the entire dental care team in the workplace. While practice varies by state, dental assistants’ responsibilities may include tasks like using and sterilizing dental instruments, charting patient information, taking X-rays and dental impressions, communicating with patients and suppliers, teaching patients appropriate oral hygiene strategies, providing comfort and care to patients before, during and after dental treatment, and more.

The training program is selective and only a handful of applicants are able to participate each year. Candidates are narrowed down through an interview process. To be eligible for DATP, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years or older
  • Be a military spouse or dependent
  • Complete at least 20 hours of volunteer work with the Red Cross or any organization that utilizes the Volunteer Information Management System (VMIS)
  • Be able to pass an extensive background check

For more information on this year’s Dental Assistant Training Program and future programs, follow the Red Cross of Alaska on Facebook and Twitter; check out information about our Service to the Armed Forces program on our website, or contact Stephanie Pflugrad, Service to the Armed Forces Program Specialist in the Far North and Interior, at stephanie.pflugrad@redcross.org or (907) 444-9529.

Development SAF Stock Photography Project 2018

Red Cross of Alaska Service to the Armed Forces locations:

Ft. Wainwright
3601 Santiago Ave, Suite 215
Fort Wainwright, AK 99703

Ft. Wainwright – Bassett Army Community Hospital
2nd Floor-Inside HR 4076 Neely Rd
Fort Wainwright, AK 99703

Eielson Air Force Base
BLDG 3112 – Basement Level-Amber Hall Broadway Ave
Eielson AFB, AK 99702

Fort Greely
661 Arctic Ave, Suite 106B
Fort Greely, AK 99731

JBER Hospital
5955 Zeamer Ave Mailing: 673d MDG, 2B-107
JBER, AK 99506

Region Headquarters
235 E. 8th Ave, Suite 200
Anchorage, AK 99501

Southeast Territory Office
5636 Glacier Hwy
Juneau, AK 99801

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