If you are taking a dental assisting course and currently pursuing certification, there are many things you should know before you take the leap of accepting your first job. As a new (or aspiring) dental assistant, you are always learning and can benefit from others who have been in the field for many years. To prepare yourself for a life in dentistry, here are a few career tips you might find beneficial.
Continue to Learn
If you believe once you have finished your program you are done learning, you’re sorely mistaken. Dental assistants must continue to learn about new advancements and changes in the dental industry. The same can be said for other industries. Without continued learning, everything would stay stagnant. Patients would continue to experience horribly painful procedures if individuals didn’t take the time to learn how to improve processes and reduce the amount of pain a patient feels while having a tooth pulled, for example.
Look for continuing education classes and certifications you can earn throughout your career. It will pay off in not just your skill sets, but it can also help in earning more respect from colleagues and advancement within the field.
You’ve heard the term, “I wear many hats.” This often refers to an individual who does more than what their job description states. Many times, the “other duties as assigned” portion is what people often find themselves doing most. While you are in the midst of your hands-on dental assisting program, expect to develop a versatile skill set, meaning you will need to be prepared to take on various roles to ensure the dentist office continues to run efficiently and productively.
Don’t wait for someone to tell you what to do. Be proactive and take on the opportunity to learn something new or assist when you can. It not only shows initiative, but it also shows loyalty and dedication to the business.
Understand Your Worth
Unfortunately, not all dentists recognize the value of a dental assistant, but the same goes for just about any profession. If you aren’t the boss, there is a chance your role or position may be taken for granted or viewed as “menial” in the overall organizational hierarchy. It’s important to make sure the dentist you work for values and understands the importance of your role. Never “settle” for a job. Instead, look for employers to offer competitive wages and benefits, and who invest in their dental assistants’ professional development.
All of these are ways in which you can gauge if a potential employer values the role of a dental assistant.
Establish a Network
Everyone needs help, and whether it is learning new techniques and technologies, or sharing concerns and achievements, a network of established peers will prove beneficial. As a dental assistant, it will be your responsibility to look for opportunities to grow and develop in your field. As you do this, talk and connect with others who can enhance your career experience. Professional organizations are a great way for dental assistants to get involved and connected with others who have years of experience and are knowledgeable about new tips and tricks.
Realize You Do Make a Difference
Oftentimes, it is easy to find yourself believing that the work you do is not important, nor are you helping anyone in the process. However, as a dental assistant, that is not the case at all. Your position within the dental office is crucial to ensuring everything runs smoothly. From serving as a sounding board for patients to assisting the dentist during a procedure, you play an integral role in making a difference in the lives of each and every patient who walks through the door.
You are about to embark on a lucrative and enjoyable career as a dental assistant. Take heed of these career tips and advice, and you’ll be well prepared and ready for this new chapter in your life.
About Dental Assistant Pro
For more than 25 years, Dental Assistant Pro has been providing aspiring dental assistants with essential knowledge and hands-on skills learning. Our philosophy is the best dental assisting training should be taught in a dental office at an affordable cost, so why not take a chance and enroll in our 10-week course schedule? It’s now more affordable than ever to become a dental assistant! To learn more about us, visit our website or call (614) 202-3919.