Jen Bohne is the Dental Assisting Program Director at the Carrington College Tucson campus, and will celebrate her 10-year-anniversary as part of the Carrington family this November.
Thank you for your time talking to us, Jen. In your current role, what do you do as the Dental Assisting Program Director?
My role involves management of the Dental Assisting program at the Tucson Campus. I ensure that all program standards and guidelines set forth by Carrington College are maintained and reinforced at the campus-level. The majority of my work involves supporting and coaching our students and working with Career Services to identify and secure externship and employment opportunities. I also collaborate with our Program Advisory Committee to identify up-to-date trends in the industry and best practices geared toward getting students ready for the workplace. Beyond the classroom, I spend a great deal of time finding volunteer opportunities for our students. These opportunities expose them to out-of-the-classroom experiences, as they’re able to work side-by-side with various doctors and assist with treatments. The volunteer opportunities are a good way for students to find out what specialty they would like to get into, which is good since there are so many different specialties in the dental field.
I see you have a background in massage therapy, what was it about the dental field that peaked your interest?
When I first thought about going into the dental field, I knew I wanted a career where I would thoroughly be happy. As I looked at the professionals in this field, they all seemed to have obtained that happiness. I appreciated that those working in their role were family-based and had a good connection to the community. Every time I set foot into my doctor’s practice, it was a positive experience because of the employees’ great attitudes.
You mention you appreciated having a connection to the community. Do you do any outside volunteer work?
I’m very involved in the community. I work on many nonprofit events. They’re mainly dental events, such as pediatrics for babies and kids. El Rio Community Health Center is an organization I’ve been active with for the past three years as a volunteer coordinator.
Last year was super exciting. Carrington students received the opportunity to attend a Boys & Girls Clubs event for preventative care. They fundraised as they worked toward a black tie event in the downtown Tucson area. Through their efforts, the students supported funds for 3,000 Tucson-area children for dental care. In addition to that, the event raised enough money for El Rio Community Health Center to build a second facility.
When did you come to Tucson?
I was born and raised on a farm in a small town in Arizona called Arivaca. When I lived there, the population was around 100. My family had a lot of crops and nut trees. We lived there until I was 10. We ended up moving to Tucson, mainly for more opportunities for schooling.
Do you have anyone special in your life?
Yes, my family! I’ve been married to my husband for 16 years. We have two children. The oldest is a girl. She is 10 weeks into her career in the Navy. She’s pretty tough. She was recently acknowledged that she would become an arms petty officer for the Navy. Our son is 14. He’s a real outdoorsman. He is always exploring the wilderness and fishing.
Do you like to travel?
I really enjoy traveling to where there is water. I’m definitely one for water and a swimmer by heart. In school I competitively swam, which is probably why I am this way. A cool trip we once took was to Maui.
We all want to leave our footprint somehow, how do you want to be remembered?
I’d like people to remember me by the characteristics of my personality. I try to focus on being caring, passionate with knowledge and sharing ideas, having a creative style and always taking different approaches.
What is an interesting fact about you?
I’m very spontaneous and love to be up in the air. I’m fascinated with anything helicopter related. I guess you could say I have a thing for piloting. I remember being on the farm, seeing planes and helicopters fly by and always being captivated. I’ve even researched to see what it would be like to get a pilot’s license, which is something I may pursue as a hobby.
Aside from getting into piloting, what else is on your bucket list?
I’d really like to complete a triathlon somewhere sunny with (of course) water. As a competitive swimmer, I often swim relays as a freestyle and long-distance swimmer. I’d also love to visit Italy.
What do you enjoy doing in your downtime?
I really enjoy swimming long distance. I also enjoy traveling to the mountains, hiking, fishing and just being outside.
Who inspires you?
Family is my biggest inspiration and individuals of the discipline that develop new ideas.
Our program provides students a combination of formal classroom instruction and hands-on training. We focus on giving our students the opportunity to learn and practice skills using labs equipped with up-to-date tools and technology as well as an externship at an approved oral care facility. Coursework in Carrington College’s Dental Assisting program includes a broad base of knowledge on subjects ranging from anatomy of the head and mouth to sterilization techniques to front office operations.
What is one piece of advice you would give to students interested in the Dental Assisting program at the Tucson campus?
With dental in general, if you’re the person who has the ability to develop relationships and are a people person then you will have a good time with this industry. Working as a dental assistant, you’re the first and last person a patient sees. It’s important to have those comforting aspects. For the Dental Assisting program, it’s a great deal of responsibilities and challenging tasks, but very rewarding.
What types of skills and knowledge can a student in your program expect to take away?
Our program is focused on providing the skills and knowledge necessary for its graduates to confidently:
- Perform necessary chair-side and administrative duties
- Take and pour dental impressions
- Educate patients about oral health care and provide post-operative care instructions
- Perform coronal polishes (after state certification)
- Communicate effectively with patients and colleagues
- Demonstrate critical thinking, respect and responsibility
We just completed a wonderful partnership with the El Rio Community Outreach Center in Tucson, where free back-to-school immunizations, vision screenings, dental screenings, fluoride varnish treatments and other necessary services were provided to children before the school year began. Our team was so proud to volunteer to provide dental assistance to the kids.
In addition, we are gearing up to partner with fellow programs on campus to volunteer at Hope Fest on October 24. Hope Fest is a citywide event that provides free groceries, clothing, medical, dental, haircuts, hygiene items and helping services to the most needy, underserved and marginalized populations. Hope Fest has operated in Tucson for 21 years, and last year they served 20,000 needy Tucsonans at the Kino Stadium.
Hope Fest expects to provide more than $1.5 million dollars of goods and services on that one day. And this year, we are so excited to help with that goal.
For more information about Carrington College’s Tucson campus, please click here.
For comprehensive consumer information, visit: http://carrington.edu/degrees/dental-assisting/