So I’m still in the military for the next 3 years and thinking about taking the prerequisites for the program, which will probably take me a year or two to complete. I’m just afraid that when I get out the navy, how am I going to balance finding another job and applying for the program. Any advice?
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Probably the best place to get information is a dentist's office. I don't know how it works in the navy, but a civilian dentist, especially one you know, would probably be happy to answer your questions. The assistants and hygienists could tell you what their jobs are like and where they went to school. The dentist may even let you hang around and watch what they do which is hard to do when you're the patient and you're staring at the ceiling. I would imagine there's more jobs for assistants since the office I go to has 4 or 5 assistants and only one hygienist.0
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They have schools for that.0
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Do you have cross training opportunities?
I'm not too familiar with navy, but in the Air Force, dental assistants have a shred that trains them as dental hygienist.
Maybe also talk with the medics in your branch. I went to tech school with navy so a lot of our training is the same. They can give you insight on opportunities they have in case you want to switch to reserves and cross train when you get out (train on their dime).
I think you should definitely work on the pre-requisites now though.
If you're located CONUS it should be a lot easier. That way you can apply to the program and speak to the advisors before you get out. Your first contact with them doesn't have to be when you're out. My friend made sure she was accepted into her nursing program before she separated.
By my DOS I'll have 60 days of leave. I plan on taking my 60 days of term leave to settle down in the lower 48. Find housing, a job, and i plan on applying to school before hand.
Then of course use the GI bill to help pay for housing once school starts up.