Having served in the military as a dentist for three years, Dr. Marino said he didn’t want to see any more “OJT” - or on-the-job training - workers in his profession.
“I saw some serious damage done by these OJT hygienists on occasion because they weren’t really trained as hygienists, even,” he said. “When it goes south, it’s going to go south big-time.”
Ms. Burnette said the whole controversy might well have been averted if the name - “dental assistant II” - were changed to “expanded-function dental assistant” to drill home that the position entails more than just cleaning teeth - such as placing and finishing fillings.
“I really wish they would have called it EFDA, because it really does separate the two,” she said. “And not try to compare it to hygienists. They went to school to clean teeth, but they can’t fill teeth. I went to school to fill teeth, but I can’t clean teeth.”
“It’s not like you can graduate high school and go straight to expanded-function school and be an expandedfunction [dental assistant] next year,” she continued. “It’s not a weekend course.”
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David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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