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Foundations in Dental Assisting Employer Frequently Asked Questions

What is covered in the classroom training? 

Students complete 5-weeks of classroom training. During JVS’s accelerated DA training, students will cover the foundations of dental assisting.   

Students receive: 

  • 100 hours of hands-on training from a RDAEF2 with 20+ years of experience in the dental field; 
  • 30 hours of independent and interactive study; and 
  • 15 hours of JVS’s Emotional Intelligence Suite – a soft skills training with a focus on intra- and inter- personal skills 

By the end of the classroom training, participants receive a: 

  • Infection Control Certificate, issued by the Expanded Functions Dental Assistants Association (EFDAA) 
  • Radiation Safety Certification, issued by EFDAA 
  • Dental Practice Act Certificate, issued by EFDAA 
  • BLS for Healthcare Providers, American Heart Association 
  • Classroom Completion Certificate, issued by Dental Perfections  
  • Program Completion Certificate, issued by JVS 

What is “Shadow Day”?

Before beginning an actual internship students visit dental offices to meet the team, learn about the office, and get a sense of the work and pace. The duration of the “shadow day” is 3-4 hours.  During this time, students will be strictly observing, and should not be engaging in any dental work. This meeting is meant to help students familiarize themselves with the office, get to know the staff, and contextualize some of their training in a dental practice.  

After the meeting you will be asked if you would like to have the student intern at your office. If you do choose to proceed with the student intern, the next step will be for you and the student to determine the internship schedule. 

How long is the internship?

Internship is 5 weeks; up to 32 hours per week (minimum 24 hours per week)

What is expected of the dental office during the internship?

Dental offices are expected to provide a work-based learning opportunity for interns wherein interns are given tasks and responsibilities to apply their academic and technical skills in the office in order to develop their employability.  We aim that over the 5-weeks students are exposed to as much as possible to help them grow and refine their DA skills.

Halfway through the internship, JVS will request a performance review of the intern from the host. JVS will provide offices a Skills Evaluation Form to measure the intern’s progress and leave comments. The performance review should highlight strengths and areas for improvement. Hosts should go over the performance review with the student. The JVS Program Coordinator may also meet with the intern to discuss the outcomes of their performance review. Thereafter the goal is for the intern to utilize the second half of the internship to demonstrate progress around improvements.

Note: The intention of internship is to give students exposure to the full breadth of tasks within the scope of the DA role; students should not be utilized as replacement employees. We ask that your office help students to get experience beyond just sterilization or room prep. In the case that students are not getting enough experience to build their skills across the scope of the DA role, JVS will reach out to discuss with the dental office. If a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, JVS may remove the intern from the office.  

Who arranges the internship schedule?

The dental office and student determine the internship schedule.  

Note: Students participate in JVS’s professional development workshop Career Lab every Thursday from 9am-12pm. Students are welcome to intern after this workshop, if they would like.  

Does my student intern need to complete a specific number of hours?

The goal for the program is for students to complete 32 hours a week for 5 weeks. At the end of the 5 weeks, it is ok if students do not complete exactly 160 hours but it should be close. If an office cannot offer an intern 32 hours a week, please discuss this with a JVS staff person.

Who are the JVS contacts for the program or internship matters? 

What are the protocols if a student has an injury or accident during internship? 

If your student has an accident or injury while interning, follow the protocols and procedures set by the dental office in seeking medical care.  If the incident or injury is serious, students should: 

  1. Review Worker’s Compensation information they received from Signature Staffing in their New Hire Paperwork (the third-party payroll company JVS partners with) 
  1. Report the incident to the JVS Program Coordinator 
  1. Report the incident to Signature Staffing and call 866-480-4531 to determine next steps 

What if the intern misses a day of internship? 

Internship days cannot be made up later (after the 5 weeks are complete).  Students who miss 1-2 days will still be eligible to complete the program. If an intern misses an extensive amount of time due to extenuating circumstances (ie. they can’t intern for a week due to injury or illness) JVS will consult with the dentist office whether we can extend the internship period. 

Can the intern work overtime? 

No, students are not allowed to intern over 8 hours a day (not including lunch). Overtime payment is not provided during the internship program. 

What is the dental office’s financial contribution and how does it work? 

We know it is not common in the dental industry to provide student DAs with a wage. A core mission of this program and JVS’s work is to increase the workforce pipeline and solve for labor market shortages by making career training more accessible for community members who are not in a position to work without pay for a month.  We have also found that employers contributing to wages has contributed to stronger placements and success rates. 

  • Offices are invoiced $12.50 for each hour the student interns.  
  • JVS will subsidize student wages such that students will make $18.07 per hour, or equal to the San Francisco minimum wage.  
  • We aim for students to receive up to 32 hours per week (Note: Students cannot intern more than 8 hours a day, excluding lunch).  
  • JVS will email you an invoice after the internship is completed.  

JVS manages the student’s payments through a third-party payroll service. Your intern will be covered with liability insurance and workers comp through this service, limiting your office’s liability during internship. 

How will students get paid? 

Each week students must submit a timesheet that has been reviewed and signed by the dental office. JVS manages the student’s payments through a third-party payroll service. Students receive their payment through direct deposit. 

Can I hire my intern before the internship period is completed? 

Yes! If you would like to hire your intern before the 5-weeks are complete, just contact JVS and let us know.  We do prefer that students complete a minimum two weeks of internship. If hired early, the student will still receive a certificate of completion from the program.

Does JVS help students find a job after the program? 

Yes! JVS works with participants on revising their resumes and refining their interview skills. If you choose not to hire your intern following the internship, we will work together with students on their job search and provide accountability and encouragement while they are looking for the right dental office.

Do dental offices need to do anything after the program is completed? 

If you decide to hire a student from the JVS training program, please let us know! We will also ask the student to share their offer letter with us. This information remains confidential, but we must collect employment placement verification as a requirement from our funders.

Also let us know if you are interested in hosting another intern.  We try to match students in offices that are within 10 miles from a student’s residence. If you are interested in hosting more students and we have a student that lives near your practice, we will contact you.

What if my DA wants to become a RDA? 

JVS encourages graduates of the Dental Assistant Training Program to consider becoming a Registered Dental Assistant! To become an RDA, DAs from our program must complete 1280 hours and 15 months of experience working as a DA (internship hours can be included!). Once they have successfully achieved this requirement, JVS will support them in getting their RDA license. In addition to the work experience, the DA will need Coronal Polishing and review for the RDA exam – which JVS will provide.  JVS will guide DAs through the entire journey to RDA!

JVS is now offering a Fee for Service for DAs who have not gone through the JVS DA Program.  Base Cost is $850 and includes RDA Exam Review course, assistance navigating the DA to RDA process, and support obtaining any missing certificates prior to application.  JVS will support these DAs in RDA exam review and completing the application process to become an RDA!  


If you have an additional question not covered in these Frequently Asked Questions, please contact employers@jvs.org.