Dental offices are busy places, with many patients to see and tasks for the dental team to complete each day. While we hear that working in dentistry is rewarding overall, the fast pace of a dental office workday can cause feelings of stress and chaos among dental employees. It’s important, however, that patients don’t sense any of the hustle and bustle taking place behind the scenes.
What some might not realize is that in most dental offices, it’s the dental assistant to whom the rest of team often looks to help keep the appointment schedule on track, the office organized, and everyone at the practice feeling good about their experience. And dental assistants do not disappoint in fulfilling this critical task! Below are some ways dental assistants consistently elevate everyone around them.
You always stay positive no matter what
We have all heard the expression “attitude is everything,” and in dental assisting, this is so true. Dental assistants say they have many favorite aspects about their role, and working with people is usually the best part. But of course, working with people can become stressful quickly if patients or colleagues become negative or rude. Even so, dental assistants make sure to keep a bright smile and positive outlook, which helps the overall office rapport and atmosphere stay upbeat and welcoming. Thanks to dental assistants, everyone is able to feel at ease in the dental office.
Doing so isn’t without its challenges, though! “The hardest part about dental assisting is keeping things running on time with a packed schedule, and staying friendly at the same time,” admits Jean, CDA. “But it’s worth it to be able to help patients.”
You’re generous with giving gratitude
Dental assistants know the importance of feeling recognized and supported to enjoying overall career satisfaction. Many know that hearing “thank you” goes a long way in helping them feel like a valuable team member. Unfortunately, some dental assistants say they feel underappreciated. This is why when a dental assistant notices a dental colleague going above and beyond to help provide patient care, they don’t hesitate to acknowledge that person’s job well done. After all, what goes around comes around. Giving and receiving recognition can only help create a more harmonious dental office environment where everyone wants to work.
“My best advice and plea for everyone in dental is to be kind at work,” says Lisa, CDA, who knows firsthand that a negative atmosphere can make or break a dental employee’s work experience.
Your love for learning is contagious!
When a dental assistant is fulfilled in their career, everyone around them can usually tell. That’s because a successful and motivated dental assistant shines. They’re eager to learn and demonstrate their knowledge in the dental office — through holding DANB certification, completing continuing education such as those options available through the DALE Foundation, and getting involved in dental organizations such as the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) and the American Association of Dental Office Management (AADOM). Dedicated dental assistants’ energy is often contagious. The entire office can sense that they love their career and helping their patients and teams!
Mary, CDA, who has enjoyed a rewarding career in dental assisting marked with much involvement, always encourages up-and-coming dental assistants to learn and stay engaged in their work. She’s seen many do so and thrive. “Do the best you can for yourself,” Mary advises every dental professional. “You’re the only one who can. I’m glad to know dental assistants who have taken this to heart, for the benefit of their own careers, as well as everyone in the dental office.”