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It’s no secret the past few years have seen an increased demand for health care professionals like nurses and medical assistants.

But did you know there has also been an increased need for dental assistants? Not only has demand risen recently, but it’s expected to continue to grow by 11 percent over the next decade.

We caught up with Randi Edwards, a student in the dental assistant program, to see how MedQuest College is preparing her for a career in dental health.

Randi, who owns her own cleaning business and has continued to work while pursuing her degree, will graduate this fall with the skills needed to be an Expanded Duties Dental Assistant, working alongside dentists and dental hygienists in any dental practice.

Why were you interested in the dental assistant program?

Dental is not for everyone. But if you love to make a change in someone’s life, it definitely is an option. The smile on someone’s face is everything. It’s the first thing you really see about somebody. If they’re not secure about that, you have the power to change that and to make their life better.

What made you choose MedQuest College?

It was MedQuest from the beginning. Just the fact that it’s a smaller class and that you get to do that hands-on experience and that it’s driven in just one direction. You don’t have to take other courses to get to where you need to be.

Did you have any worries before starting at MedQuest?

I was really nervous about it being mostly bookwork and not understanding the curricula that I would need to graduate and not doing good in school. But my instructors and everyone along the way is really here for the students, which has made this experience so wonderful.

What has been your favorite class in the dental assistant program?

Clinicals are amazing! I love them because of the equipment that is available. I think it’s really going to help me in my career.

I plan on doing 150 hours in pediatrics to begin with, and then another 150 hours in orthodontics, just because I have such a passion in both of those fields. I really love that MedQuest gives me the option to do both before I decide on my career path.

How have your peers helped you?

We all really help each other along the way. I think having that smaller group has helped because we can focus more on what we’re doing that day. And we all just help bring each other along and encourage each other, even through the hard times.

Was it difficult to get started with MedQuest?

MedQuest has been amazing. When it came to financial aid, signing up, everything, I really don’t feel like I did anything. They took care of everything. They made everything as easy as possible for me.

What does it mean to have a degree from MedQuest?

Because of MedQuest, I’m actually the first one to finish college. This is such an accomplishment for me. The whole nine yards has been amazing, and just the thought that I’m going to graduate and I’m going to be a dental assistant is amazing.

Do you have any advice for future MedQuest students?

If you’re thinking about coming to MedQuest, definitely do it. I had a patchy path along the way. I did not graduate high school. I did not have the support to do this. I did this all on my own.

Even if it’s just to prove to someone that you can do it, or if you’re doing it for yourself, do it because you want to do it. Just do it. You will not regret this at all.

If you’re interested in MedQuest’s 10-month dental assistant program or any of the five other programs, click for more information.