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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  September 18, 2004
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Virtual Job Shadow Helps Students Discover Dental Field
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CCRI Dental Health Programs
RI Dental Association

The Community College of Rhode Island was happy enough to show off its brand new, state of the art dental hygiene facility. It's all part of an effort to get these high school students interested in a career in dentistry. Dentist Karyn Johnson is participating in this virtual job shadow where high school students from Cranston, Newport and Central Falls all watched from their classrooms as Dr. Johnson and dental hygienist, and CCRI graduate, Rafael Sanchez gave them a peek at what they do every day.

Rafael says, "I hope a lot of them make the decision to come into this marvelous program."

CCRI has the only dental hygiene certification program in the state but there is no dental school and that is one reason dentist Christine Benoit says Rhode Islanders could soon be suffering, "We consider this a crisis. We're calling this the calm before the storm. People take dentistry for granted."

Dr. Benoit says 63% of Rhode Island's dentists are over the age of 50 and less and less dental graduates are returning to the Ocean State to practice. That's why this virtual job shadow is just as important for the field of dentistry as it is for the students looking at a career.

CCRI Dental Hygiene Director Kathleen Gazzola says, "W're trying to capture that interest now. They need to start in high school, taking the courses, so that when they come to us they're prepared."

Students can become a certified dental hygienist in two years through CCRI's program and a certified dental assistant in 9 months.   To learn more Click Here.

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