Centura College

Connecting Communities & Careers

A Dentist’s Best Friend: Your Role as a Dental Assistant

Posted by on Mar 10, 2017 in Centura College

In honor of National Dental Assistant’s Recognition Week, we want to thank and appreciate the men and women who service your smile. Behind most dentists, there is a hard working dental assistant. Acting as the Robin to their Batman, the Chewbacca to their Han Solo, or the floss to their toothbrush, a dental assistant’s role is important to dentists’ every day routines.

Oh, that’s very interesting…But what exactly does a dental assistant do?

One can obviously assume that dental assistants work in the dental industry and that, well, they assist. But what do they assist with? How do they contribute in the day to day activities of a dental office? Do they have to preform surgeries? Do they interact directly with patients or only with dentists? If this is the career you are thinking of getting into, it’s important to understand just what a dental assistant does:

The duties of a dental assistant

Just like most job positions, the precise duties of dental assistants varies from one practice to another. Different state regulations, the size of a practice and services offered at the practice are all factors that alter the demands of dental assistant. That being said, these general tasks, as laid out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are what to expect when dental assisting;

  • Arranging patient appointments.
  • Keep patient records, including records of dental treatments and of payments.
  • Processing dental X-rays and completing lab tasks under the supervision of a dentist.
  • Ensure that patients are settled in and comfortable in the dental chair.
  • Sterilizing dental instruments.
  • Prep patients and the work area for the dental procedures and treatments that are to be done.
  • Handing instruments to the dentist as they work on a patient.
  • Cleaning up the mouth using a suction hose and other equipment as the dentist performs a procedure.
  • Advising patients on any follow-up care they need to do such as using particular dental products.

Qualities of a good dental assistant

Ok, now that we have gone over the technical aspects of the job, what are the some social qualities expected? Well, a good assistant will have the following skills;

1) Detail orientated in order to follow rules and regulations as pertains to general dental hygiene and in helping a dentist carry out specific procedures.

2) Dexterity which means an ability to work with the hands. This is important because dental work is done on a particular tooth with precision tools and instruments.

3) Interpersonal skills to be able to work well with patients and dentists. For instance, a good assistant will be able to calm down a stressed or scared patient.

4) Listening skills to be able to listen to patients and the dentist, understand what they need and give it to them. Listening skills are also important to be able to learn the right way to carry out tasks like dental X-rays and tests.

5) Organizational skills to be able to put everything in order for the dentist and also to be able to maintain accurate patient records.


Job outlook for dental assistants

Now that we’ve covered the technical and social prospects of the job, let’s check out what the forecast is in the demand for dental assistants; According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, prospects are good. It is expected that employment will grow by 18% between 2014 through 2024. 1 This is attributed to research findings that are increasing the demand for preventive dental services. Growth will also be enabled by more people having access to health insurance. Having cover for dental care will have more people seeing their dentist.

So there you have it. A dental assistant, in the very least, is the dentist’s go-to for tasks including lab work, record keeping and instrument sterilization, while they act as a dental specific version of Jiminy Cricket, supplying patients with instructions on how to care for their teeth and comfort by listening to patient needs.

To learn about Centura’s Dental Assistant Diploma program, visit http://centuracollege.edu/college-programs/health-science/dental-assisting/index.html.

1 https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/mobile/dental-assistants.htm

Centura College Richmond Starts HVAC Training!

Posted by on Jan 31, 2017 in Centura College

Centura College Brings In-Demand HVAC Training to Richmond

Centura College’s North Chesterfield campus now offers training in heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

Centura College launches their Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Certificate program to help meet the nation-wide need for HVAC Technicians.


RICHMOND, Va. (August 31, 2016) – Centura College’s Richmond campus announces a new beginning with their Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Certificate program. Through training, students will work hands-on with air conditioning and heating systems, residential and commercial refrigeration, heat pumps, hydronics and more. Students can enroll now for a September 26th class start.


“The demand for quality HVAC technicians is extremely high right now. The residential and commercial industries are severely undermanned with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook forecasting a 14 percent employment growth in the field of HVAC from 2014 to 2024,” said Centura College’s Corporate Director of Industrial Trades, Dennis Brakeville. “One critical reason is that seasoned technicians are reaching retirement age. This gives entry-level technicians the opportunity to fill these positions in a short period of time with competitive pay and benefits.”


The program is designed to take 12 months to complete and prepares students for entry-level positions within the HVAC industry. Graduates of the program will have acquired the knowledge to prepare for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification exam, which is a requirement for everyone entering the industry. Students will also be equipped to test for additional certifications, such as the Industry Competency Examination (ICE) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10-hour Safety Certification. Career opportunities following graduation include positions with HVAC companies, builders and contractors, hotels and other specialty companies.


Centura College’s Richmond campus is located at 7914 Midlothian Turnpike in North Chesterfield, Va. For more information, call 804-330-0111.

About Centura College

Centura College has been part of an organization dedicated to helping men and women develop careers since 1969. By training working adults in healthcare, technology, business, legal studies and trades, they connect communities with some of the fastest growing career fields in today’s marketplace. Currently, Centura College’s Richmond campus is now enrolling students to train for careers in; medical assisting, massage therapy, dental assisting, nurse aide, phlebotomy, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and building maintenance and repair. The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, job placement assistance and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). To learn more, visit www.CenturaCollege.edu or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/centura.edu.

Newport News Celebrates First Phlebotomy Graduates

Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Adult Education, Centura College, Medical Assisting, Phlebotomy


On December 7th, 2015, the Peninsula campus launched their first phlebotomy course. A six week course fast paced, with a load of information. Everyone was excited. The phlebotomy students endured the rigorous course, persevered, and finally completed the main objective, which was to pass their certification. When test time came, everyone was nervous and anxious. They closed their eyes while the computer tallied their scores, and upon opening their eyes to view their scores, everyone was filled with delight, as they all had passed. They rejoiced as if they had won the Super Bowl! It may not have been the Super Bowl but this was a memorable time that made them all feel like winners. They can all proudly say, “I am a Certified Phlebotomist Technician”. Here at CPEN, we are all proud of their accomplishment.

You might be asking,

So what does a Phlebotomy graduate do?

Few people probably know the term phlebotomist, but it’s the health care professional who draws blood and ensures the proper amount is taken and that all blood is properly labeled and stored. Whether you have been a patient or a blood donor, you have seen a phlebotomist. Anyone who chooses this field has to be comfortable with blood, needles, databases, test tubes and blood vials. You will draw blood, verify the patient’s or blood donor’s identity, label the blood and enter patient information into a database. You’ll assemble and maintain equipment as well to prevent infections or other complications. Phlebotomists also tend to reassure nervous patients who don’t like needles, and some of them will explain what they are doing for patients who are interested.

Phlebotomy technicians are becoming very high in demand, and that oppertunity is increasingly steadily. This is partly because of locations (such as hospitals which are open 24 hours) require three shifts of phlebotomists on staff. That means that if you are flexible about the hours you work, you will probably find even more opportunity in this field.


Click here to start your Career in Phlebotomy today!


Chesapeake Teen Summer Job Expo Just a Week Away

Posted by on Mar 21, 2016 in Centura College


On Tuesday, March 29, Centura College’s Chesapeake campus encourages teens of Hampton Roads to join them on campus from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for a free Teen Summer Job Expo. The event features an interview workshop at 9 a.m., followed by the job fair beginning at 10 a.m. Attending employers include Food Lion, Ocean Breeze Water Park and many more.

“We are all about connecting communities and careers at Centura College,” said Campus Director Ashley West. “We wanted to give local high schoolers the tools to ace the interview process and then put them in front of employers looking to hire right now. Let’s get hired this spring break!”

Expected employers include Wendy’s, Food Lion, Farm Fresh, Ocean Breeze Water Park, Lowe’s Home Improvement, YMCA, Auto Bell and AAA Pools. Attendees are encouraged to dress for success.

Centura College’s Chesapeake campus is located at 932 Ventures Way. For more information about the Teen Summer Job Expo, call 757-549-2121, or visit the Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/764157023685897/.

To the Three Centurians that Took the HVAC World by Storm—Congratulations!

Posted by on Feb 11, 2016 in Centura College

The Clifford H. “Ted” Rees Jr. Scholarship Foundation awarded three of our incredible Centura College HVAC students with scholarship funds to assist them in reaching their future career goals. Robert Morey, Milton Mercury, both from Centura Institute in Orlando, and Nicholas Smith, from Centura College Columbia, were chosen based on their competency and excellence.

The goal behind the Clifford H. “Ted” Rees, Jr. Scholarship foundation has always been to help make a better future for the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry. They believe that by supporting some of the brightest students enrolled in HVACR training programs at institutionally accredited schools, they will keep the integrity and competency of the field at a constant and growing high.

Our overwhelming excitement for these three dedicated students was too much to contain. Congratulations to Robert, Milton and Nicholas on your success. We are so proud to call you part of our Centura College family!

Robert Morey, from Centura Institute

Robert Morey, from Centura Institute

HVAC_Mercury Milton

Milton Mercury, from Centura Institute

Nicholas Smith, from Centura College Columbia

Nicholas Smith from Centura College Columbia

Giving Thanks—Centura Style

Posted by on Dec 7, 2015 in Centura College

The leaves had changed, a slight chill blew through the trees and the spirit of community and thankfulness filled the air. Sure there’s turkey, and you can’t forget the bitter sweet bite of cranberry sauce, but what really made this holiday season was giving back!

Centura Norfolk decided to team up with Grace Worship Center and give away two Thanksgiving dinners with all the trimmings. Students across the whole campus poured their hearts into beautiful 200 word essays on what Thanksgiving truly meant to them and awaited the winners’ announcement. And then their names were called, and two extravagant Thanksgiving dinners went home. Students also got the chance to win gift baskets filled with festive table decorations by answering trivia questions.



Centura Richmond also wanted to put some food on the table! A total of five local southside Richmond families stopped by campus to pick up their thanksgiving baskets with all the Thanksgiving favorites and turkeys as well. They also held a successful school food drive to help FeedMore’s Central Virginia Food Bank. Now let’s talk pies! Pies were all the talk as we gave away America’s favorite dessert and gift cards to help students prepare for this holiday season!


Food Drive collage

Even Centura Virginia Beach joined in the giving season with their own incredible food drive. We’re talking 578 pounds of food. Way to go!



Thank you to all that helped us spread the love during this holiday season and a very happy holidays from our Centura family to yours!