Archive for March, 2013

The Advantages of Coursework at Lake Area Technical Institute

Like many area residents, college student Brooke Kuecker recognizes the value of Lake Area Technical Institute (LATI) in Watertown, South Dakota. Currently pursuing her undergraduate degree, Kuecker completed a dental program at the school and earned an associate degree. The state’s first technical school, founded in 1965, LATI has graduated more than 16,000 students, 98 percent of whom are working or, like Brooke Kuecker, continuing their education. More than half the Institute’s students receive federal Pell grants to offset costs.

LATI offers 29 programs, including dental, nursing, law enforcement, aviation, and robotics curricula. Students also can enroll in 13 online programs to earn e-degrees. While most courses of study are full-time at LATI, the school does provide several part-time options. The excellent faculty selected for the Institute typically held positions in the fields in which they teach and have maintained contacts. Thus, they complement their teaching with practical guidance.


Brooke Kuecker: An Overview of Dental Assisting

A diligent and enthusiastic student, Brooke Kuecker is currently studying for her Bachelor’s degree. Ms. Kuecker also works as a dental assistant and previously earned an Associate degree in Dental Assisting from Lake Area Technical Institute.

As a dental assistant, Brooke Kuecker is part of a growing profession. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that dental assistant employment will expand at an above-average rate through 2020. Dental assistants are a crucial part of any dental care team, and most are employed in dental offices where they often work in tandem with dental hygienists.

Dental assistants have a wide range of duties. They prepare patients for treatment, arrange and sterilize dental instruments and materials, and assist dentists during procedures. Under supervision, dental assistants frequently process X-rays and complete lab tasks. In addition, they conduct a number of administrative functions; they schedule appointments, maintain records, and handle billing and payment. In some states, dental assistants can also polish teeth and apply sealants, fluoride, and topical anesthetics.

Educational requirements for dental assistants vary state by state. In some states, dental assistants must graduate from an accredited program; in others, they receive on-the-job instruction. Many dental assistants must obtain certification or licensing in their field, which shows they possess more in-depth knowledge and experience. Brooke Kuecker maintains an Advanced Dental Assistant license in South Dakota.