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Clinical Information for Radiology Students

The following information is for students taking the Dental Radiology course and pertains specifically to the clinical component.

The Bureau of X-Ray Compliance, which is a division of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJ DEP) requires that you complete a clinical education in a state approved dental office where you are supervised by a properly licensed individual.  This is intended to provide you an opportunity for real world practice in an actual dental office, where you will be preparing patients, working with radiographic equipment, and taking actual dental radiographs.

The clinical component can only begin after successful completion of the the didactic (instructional) and laboratory components of the Radiology course and after successfully passing the course exam offered by Dental Assistant Services (DAS).

Picture of dental radiographWith regards to locating a site where you can perform your clinical, many students who are already working in a dental office are able to use their current employer.  Students who are not currently employed in a dental office may consider trying to obtain their clinical education at an office where they might like to work in the future, as this can be a great way to make connections and a positive impression. 

While we may like to help, it is your responsibility to locate an office where you can perform your clinical.  Final determination of an appropriate office to complete your clincial is subject to approval by both DAS and the Bureau of X-Ray Compliance.

Upon approval, DAS will issue you a name tag and a film badge.  These must be worn at all times while performing your clinical.  While the name tag indicates that you have been granted permission to take dental radiographs prior to obtaining an actual license, the film badge detects and measures any radiation that you may be exposed to while exposing the radiographs.  Without your name tag and film badge or an actual license, it is illegal for you to operate radiographic equipment, take dental radiographs, position a patient, and/or position a film in the mouth of a patient.

Not wearing your name tag or film badge may subject you, DAS, and/or the dental office you're working in to various penalties and fines.  The Bureau of X-Ray Compliance may also revoke your previously approved Clinical Affiliation Application keeping you from completing your clinical and ultimately from obtaining your Dental Radiologic Technologist license (dental x-ray license).

Further, you may only take dental radiographs while under proper supervision, during the approved clinical period, and at the approved office.  Once your clinical hours have been completed or your film badge expires, you are no longer legally permitted to continue taking dental radiographs.  To do so would risk your ability to eventually obtain your license and put the office you're working in, DAS, and yourself at risk for legal action and monetary fines.

Dental Assistant Services and/or a Bureau of X-Ray Compliance inspector may at any time visit the dental office where you are performing your clinical to ensure that you are complying with all of the necessary requirements and to assure that you are receiving a proper educational experience and are being safe.  In addition to assuring that you are complying with all laws, regulations, and safety requirements, it is our goal for our students to become properly educated and well-prepared for their future careers. 

We also do not want to find you in a potentially harmful environment, where your physical safety, the safety of patients,Picture of a dental radiograph  or your future as a dental assistant may be potentially compromised.  Should you have any concerns about the appropriateness of what is being done at your clinical site, please contact us or the Bureau of X-Ray Compliance.  The Bureau can be reached by calling 609-984-5890 or clicking here for a list of email addresses under their " technologist certification section".  You can also obtain a copy of the various rules and regulations pertaining to the use of radiation from the NJ Radiation Regulations Downloads page.

While performing your clinical, please remember that you are a guest at their office and you should provide your coworkers and patients with respect.  Even if you do not plan to continue working there beyond your clinical, keep in mind that your behavior is also a reflection upon DAS and that you may need to use that office as an employment reference in the future.

By following the guidelines and regulations established by the Bureau of X-Ray Compliance, your clinical assignment should be a safe, educational, beneficial, and meaningful experience for everyone.  If you still have questions, we're here to help.  Don't hesitate to contact us.




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