The Community College of Rhode Island, in collaboration with R.I. Department of Labor and Training, today announced that it is accepting applications for its new Workforce Dental Assistant and Patient Support Specialist Training Programs.

These initiatives, according to a press release from the school, are designed to prepare students to gain employment within the medical field. Tuition is free for qualified applicants and funded through the Governor Workforce Board.

These programs are the latest additions to CCRI’s Division of Workforce Partnerships healthcare offerings, which also include the Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), Pharmacy Technician II, and various incumbent healthcare training programs. No experience is necessary for either program, and only a GED or high school diploma is required. Individuals interested in this program should visit CCRI’s Workforce Healthcare website or contact Cody Fino at cjfino@ccri.edu.

“We’re excited to expand our healthcare offerings at the college,” said Cody Fino, Director of Industry Partnerships for CCRI’s Division of Workforce Partnerships in the press release. “These programs are an incredible opportunity for students to gain new skills within an industry that was severely impacted by the effects of COVID-19, and our employer partners are eager to hire.” 

Workforce Dental Assistant training begins Monday, October 12 with portions held remotely online and in-person at the Comprehensive Community Action Program Dental Clinic in Coventry, RI. This thirteen-week training includes an externship and prepares students to perform basic dental assisting tasks, such as preparing and taking radiographs; disinfecting and sterilizing equipment; and maintaining CDC, OSHA, and the Bloodborne Pathogens Standard requirements. This entry-level, non-CDA program allows students to work within Rhode Island as dental assistants and sit for two of the three DANB certification examinations.

Training for the Patient Support Specialist Training begins Monday, September 28 and will be held remotely online. This eight-week training prepares participants in a wide range of skills, including customer service, medical asepsis, patient conflict resolution, patient education, insurance, proper phone call etiquette, and various computing/software skills. The program is geared toward individuals looking to gain the necessary skills for entry-level positions within the medical field, with job placement assistance and professional development included for all participants.

CCRI is at the forefront of improving the ways community college students are prepared to advance their education and career prospects. Named America’s 2019 2-Year College of the Year by Education Dive, CCRI expects to have the highest three-year graduation rate of any community college in New England by 2021.


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