NWF State College Dental Assisting students complete on-the-job training with LECOM


Northwest Florida State College Dental Assisting students have completed rotations shadowing fourth-year dental students from the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) at their offices in DeFuniak Springs.

“Our students have been given a unique opportunity for on-the-job training while also helping to provide much needed affordable dental care to the DeFuniak Springs area,” said Julie Nelson, director of NWF State College’s Dental Assisting program. “When we were approached about this opportunity, I knew it was a great way for our students to learn while also giving back.”

At the LECOM Dental Offices in DeFuniak Springs, 50 fourth-year dental students from the LECOM School of Dental Medicine in Bradenton, Fla., are receiving their final year of clinical experience with patients. The LECOM students work under the direct supervision of licensed dentists and provide comprehensive, restorative dental care services to patients from the DeFuniak Springs area.

Under the partnership between LECOM and NWF State College, 19 students from the NWF Dental Assisting program shadowed the fourth-year dental students from LECOM for two weeks in November.

Dental_trainingDr. Dennis Youngblood, a dentist from Dallas, Texas, who is working with the LECOM students, said it was “quite fortuitous” to have NWF students and LECOM students be able to work and train together.

“It helps LECOM students to be better dentists and NWF students to be better dental assistants, which in turn provides the best care for our patients,” he said.

Cliff Bryan, a fourth-year LECOM dental student from Valparaiso, Ind., said the partnership has been beneficial for both his class and the NWF students.

“I wish they were here longer,” Bryan said of the NWF Dental Assisting students. “It’s a learning experience for both groups and it’s very helpful to work on techniques and skills in a clinic environment. It makes an easier transition to jobs in the real world.”

The NWF Dental Assisting students will next be going out into the community to assist in different dental offices.