Fortis Institute Launches New Dental Assisting Program

The Fortis Institute has begun a teaching program in dental assisting. The program will offer local students an education in what the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts will remain one of the nation’s fastest-growing careers.

The campus, located on S. Congress Ave. in Palm Springs, is enrolling students for dental assisting classes that will begin soon. In preparation for the program start, Fortis President Fabian Fernandez said that the campus has completed a new, six-station dental lab where students can receive hands-on training and practice their dental skills.

“The program is a great opportunity for area residents interested in careers in healthcare — especially at a time when unemployment remains high in certain job categories,” Fernandez said. “While jobs are never certain in any profession, healthcare just might be among the nation’s most recession-proof careers, especially as medical options and coverage expand.”

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 Occupational Outlook Handbook, there could be as many as 70,000 new dental assistant job openings nationwide through 2022. Employment growth for dental assistants is projected at nearly 25 percent, which is much faster than the average.

U.S. News & World Report Money ( ranks dental assisting in its Top 30 healthcare jobs, adding that the profession offers “high upward mobility and above-average flexibility.”

Dental assistants perform a variety of patient care, office and laboratory duties, often working in dental practices, mobile dental units, hospitals, nursing homes, insurance companies and healthcare facilities.

Fortis Institute’s dental assisting program provides students with hands-on strategies and techniques for working alongside dentists as they examine and treat patients in the dental chair.

Upon completion of the program, Fortis graduates will be prepared for entry-level employment opportunities as dental assistants in a variety of workplaces.

“Working as a dental assistant is rewarding, in and of itself,” notes Rita Eaton, the campus’ program director for dental assisting. “Beyond that, the experience they receive working with patients, learning safety procedures, and understanding a dental office’s logistics may lead to expanded responsibilities, career advancement and financial rewards as well.”

The Fortis Institute is located at 1630 S. Congress Ave., Suite 300, in Palm Springs.

In addition to its new dental assisting program, the campus offers career-focused education in heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC-R); medical assisting; medical billing and coding specialist; medical office basic X-ray technician; pharmacy technician; practical nursing; radiologic technology; and surgical technology.

For campus-specific information and details about program offerings, call (855) 4-FORTIS (855-436-7847) or visit