Education Spotlight: Medtech College

Medtech College Prepares Extraordinary Dental Assistants

Known for providing hands-on learning environments, Medtech College educates students wishing to enter a variety of healthcare careers. 

Building upon previous education success, Medtech College in Indianapolis now offers a Dental Assistant program that helps prepare students to meet the need for new dental professionals.

“There are several people who impact your career, high among them are educators,” said Medtech College Dental Assistant Program Director Amy Applegate, B.S., CDA, EFDA. “We created a program that puts students first. Their success is our number one goal.

“I want them to become as passionate about dental assisting as I am.”

Dental assisting

Dental assistants are important to dental care, preparing patients for treatments, sterilizing instruments, assisting during procedures and, often, processing X-rays or maintaining records. As ongoing research links oral health to general health, demand for preventive dental services may increase, expanding the dental assistant’s role.

“Dental assistants are an asset to any dental practice, cross-trained to work anywhere, from the front office to the back office,” said Campus President Jason Horton. “Here at Medtech, we tailored our program so students are able to master the skills associated with the job of a dental assistant.” 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental assisting will grow by 25 percent nationwide through 2022 – much faster than the average for all jobs. Dental assisting also is a career that has been ranked high for upward mobility and job flexibility by U.S. News & World Report Money. 

About the program

Medtech’s Dental Assistant program follows the belief each student is unique, with the ability to think and do. It provides mutual respect and support amid a learning environment where students are encouraged to achieve their maximum potential. 

The program provides instructional, laboratory, preclinical and clinical content, with clinical hours spent assisting dentists who offer comprehensive dental treatment. To enhance student learning, program faculty and leaders meet weekly to review clinic, program and student issues. Their goal is to deliver a solid foundation of dental practices so students have access to the knowledge, skills and work habits to successfully perform as dental assistants.

Ongoing surveys reveal students are very satisfied with their classes and the hands-on work they get to perform: 

-    “I am very pleased with how things are going. It is everything I expected.” 
-    “I have learned so much already and my classmates are so wonderful and helpful.” 
-    “It’s nice to have educators that you feel comfortable going to if you need anything.” 

Industry-standard technology 

Students at Medtech – Indianapolis are being prepared to address current and future trends in dentistry. Among the skills being learned and practiced is proper procedure for taking high-definition, digital X-rays.

Digital X-rays are the future of dentistry. By getting “hands-on” experience with the latest technology, Medtech students have an opportunity to position themselves for a wider variety of career openings after graduation.

“Our students train on equipment from Henry Schein, the world’s largest supplier of healthcare products and services – the same equipment found in many dental offices,” noted Applegate. 

The Medtech team designed the Dental Assistant curriculum to match current trends in the field. Medtech students utilize electronic adaptive learning tools, sit chairside and learn to assist dentists in both front- and back-office needs – everything from oral surgeries, endodontics and pediatric dentistry to performing laboratory procedures, charting notes, coding insurance and developing oral treatment plans. 

And, they practice all of these tasks with the assistance of the Dentrix dental software program.  

Career opportunities

No question – many patients are apprehensive when in a dental chair. Dental assistants help them feel more comfortable while working side-by-side with the dentist or hygienist.

The primary objective of Medtech’s Dental Assistant program is to provide students a hands-on education in the fundamentals so they are able to perform successfully in both clinical and office settings. 

Their classroom instruction focuses on dental procedures – from radiographs to impressions, as well as office procedures and patient care. In fact, Medtech provides a comprehensive learning experience for a full-service dental assisting career. 

“Dental assisting school was one of the greatest experiences of my career. I made true connections for life and couldn’t feel more proud to say what school I graduated from. I want our students to feel the same,” said Applegate.

Area students can prepare to become dental assistants on the same equipment typically found in dental offices without leaving Indianapolis by enrolling in Medtech College’s Dental Assistant program.

“Whether or not they plan to work in a state that requires certification, taking and passing the Certified Dental Assistant exam administered by the Dental Assisting National Board is recommended for students. Graduates of Medtech’s Dental Assistant program will be prepared to sit for that exam,” Applegate added.

Focused on emerging healthcare needs, including dental assisting, Medtech College in Indianapolis is reinforcing its status as a valued contributor to the community and the state of Indiana.

For information about preparing for careers as a dental assistant or other healthcare fields at Medtech College, call the Indianapolis campus at 317-845-0300. 

Education Spotlight: MedTech College

Medtech College provides a hands-on learning environment for students preparing for a variety of both administrative and clinical healthcare careers. Nursing programs typically attract the most interest. In fact, roughly two-thirds of all students attending the Indianapolis, Greenwood and Fort Wayne campuses are enrolled in Nursing.

Before they even start their clinical training, Medtech nursing students work to perfect their “bedside manner.” Students at the campuses hone their skills through advanced simulation labs with high-definition mannequin “patients” that exhibit the same symptoms as people they will eventually treat as licensed nurses.

“The technology in our nursing labs and simulators reinforces lessons learned and provides students life-like hands-on experience,” says Medtech College Regional Vice President of Nursing Natalie Hall, MSN, RN. “It’s an important experiential learning component for preparing skilled graduates.”

In addition to these technological advances, Medtech is refreshing its Nursing programs to ensure graduates are trained in all the latest disciplines. Under the direction of Hall and a team of directors and instructors, Medtech’s Indiana campuses have launched a special program – Extraordinary Medtech Nurses - to enhance and strengthen their Registered Nurse and Practical Nursing programs in a big way.

The five-step initiative encompasses:
• Improving top-to-bottom communication;
• Expanding faculty development;
• Increasing program rigor;
• Improving NCLEX pass rates; and
• Meeting ACEN performance standards.

“Simply stated, we plan to become the best in the business, and this is how we are going to get there!” Hall adds.

Improved Communication

The positive results of effective communication are well documented and essential to achieving solid patient-centered training among future nurses. Hall’s nursing team is refining the communication process at Medtech campuses to facilitate enhanced dialogue between administrators, instructors, staff, and students.

Nursing programs now have their own newsletters to ensure everyone’s aware of campus activities and policies, and provide updates on emerging healthcare trends.

Equally as important, new processes are in place for discussion to flow more smoothly and quickly from students up the “chain of command.” As part of this process, nursing student representatives are invited to attend faculty meetings so questions or concerns can be expeditiously and efficiently addressed.

“Nursing students are why we are here,” Hall explains, “so we’re employing every measure to ensure their voice is included in our processes and procedures.”

Expanded Faculty Development

Every business benefits from putting employees through relevant, ongoing training. That’s especially true with respect to faculty development at Medtech College’s campuses.

“To demonstrate our commitment to becoming a stronger nursing presence, we’ve brought in national nursing consultants to educate our staff on best practices in nursing education,” Hall notes.

According to Hall, Medtech nursing instructors are both experienced nurses and qualified educators. In order to build additional credentials, the campuses are encouraging faculty to obtain specialty nursing certifications in addition to hiring new talent with extensive experience and expertise in a variety of nursing fields.

Increased Program Rigor

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, research demonstrates that schools are most successful when they provide rigorous academic coursework, relevant learning opportunities, and meaningful relationships with instructors to help students achieve high standards. Medtech’s nursing campuses support that philosophy.

A major element of the Extraordinary Medtech Nurses initiative encompasses building added rigor into the nursing programs by re-defining and re-structuring student policies and procedures. Included among the enhancements are an increased grading scale and strengthened admission requirements. Campuses will be even tougher on the best candidates to ensure the most successful student outcomes.

According to Hall’s team, those and other steps are being implemented to help every Medtech student who enters the program and graduates as a student nurse passes the NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination - an examination for the licensing of nurses in the United States) and eventually stand among the profession’s elite.

Improved NCLEX Pass Rates

The goal of every nursing student is to pass the NCLEX exam to become licensed and work as a nurse. Because nurses must be able to competently administer potential life-saving treatment, the exam is – rightfully - very rigorous.

Many nursing graduates have the knowledge to pass the exam but, just like with ACT or SAT exams, some are better at standardized testing than others. NCLEX questions are asked in very specific format and graduates must know how to answer in the same fashion.

To help nursing students prepare for the exam, Medtech offers an expanded NCLEX review course as part of its curriculum. The campuses also have established new student advising and tutoring programs.

Nursing students who may be apprehensive about the NCLEX now have several new tools available to them at Medtech College.

Meet ACEN Accreditation Standards

Considered by many to be a ‘gold standard’ of nursing, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) is a specialized accrediting agency for post-secondary and higher degree programs in nursing education. The ACEN accreditation process is strict…and extremely comprehensive.

The Extraordinary Medtech Nurses program has been developed and designed to meet ACEN’s stringent standards so Indiana’s Medtech College campuses can eventually add that extra layer of credibility to their nursing programs.

Described as part art and part science, nursing appeals to dedicated people with special interests, strengths and passion for helping others. Nursing is integral to Medtech’s education focus because the skills and knowledge nurses bring to medicine are transforming healthcare.

Previous Medtech College graduates are doing just that at a significant cross-section of hospitals and healthcare networks state-wide, including St. Vincent Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital, IU Hospital, Lutheran Health Network, Columbus Regional Hospital and Riley Hospital-Indianapolis, among others.

Through its ongoing initiatives, Medtech’s Nursing program is committed to becoming even better with each passing day.

Through their focus on emerging healthcare needs…particularly in the nursing field, Medtech College’s Indianapolis, Greenwood and Fort Wayne campuses are valued contributors to communities throughout Indiana.

For information about preparing for nursing and healthcare careers at Medtech College, call the Indianapolis campus at 317-845-0300 or Greenwood at 317-534-0322.