9 Habits of Effective Dental Assistants
If you have ever considered becoming a dental assistant, now is an excellent time. This career is not only growing, but you can make a decent wage as well. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental assistants average $18.59 per hour and it is predicted that employment will grow at 19%, which is much faster than other careers.
Becoming a dental assistant is a big feat but not everyone is cut out for the job. There are skills and qualities that make some individuals better for the job than others. If you are looking to be in a position where you can help others in their dire moments, becoming a dental assistant may be right for you.
So, what makes a dental assistant effective? Below, we will talk about nine different habits/skills/qualities that make up a good dental assistant.
#1. KNOW AND PLAN YOUR GOALS
Is becoming a dental assistant the beginning or end of your career path? You need to know your goals and keep them in the back of your mind. Even if becoming a dental assistant is your career goal, make it your mission to be the BEST dental assistant you can be.
Remember, you have tons of options available to you as a dental assistant and you can earn certifications, licenses, and similar.
#2. BE PROACTIVE
Being proactive can help you grow as an individual and prepare you to deliver the best dental care possible. Proactive dental assistants are those who are ready to help people, always on their feet, and problem solve on the go.
If you are not a proactive person, it is time to start becoming more proactive or think about a new career choice. Sitting back and waiting for others to make decisions for you will only hinder your career in this field.
Take the reigns and don’t be afraid to lead.
#3. ALWAYS KEEP A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
Everyone has a negative outlook on life at some point in time, but this negativity will only lead to upset, anger, and frustration. It is vital that you always keep a positive attitude and remember that you can get through those stressful moments.
It helps to keep the patient in mind too. Yes, you may be stressed, but if you show it, your patient will pick up on it and they will become stressed too. If you find yourself stressed out or overwhelmed, take a break, take deep breaths, or go out and do something special for yourself.
#4. LEARN TO SAY NO WHEN NECESSARY
Burnout happens and can leave you confused about your career as a dental assistant. It is important that you always put yourself and family first. While there will be chances to work overtime or pick up extra shifts, you need to know when you should say no.
#5. YOUR NEEDS COME LAST
Dentistry is a service-based industry and with that in mind, you must be able to put your needs last and put the patients’ needs first. Communication, care, and empathy all go a long way and will help you become the best dental assistant possible.
#6. JOIN FORCES
No one individual can do it all on their own. An effective skill that dental assistants have is the ability to work together as a team to accomplish a common goal. If everyone is out for themselves, the only one who suffers in the end is the patient.
#7. CONTINUE YOUR EDUCATION
As we mentioned briefly above, it is important that you know what your goals are, so that you can seek them out. Even if you do not have any plans right now or your career goal is to remain a dental assistant, you want to stay abreast with new technology, procedures, and equipment. Continuing your education and learning as much as you can about the dental industry will help you provide better care to your patients.
#8. ABILITY TO COMFORT
The dentist office is probably one of the least liked places and for some, there is good reason behind that too. As a dental assistant, you will be one of the first faces that patients see, so it is important that you can calm them down and comfort them. Patients will turn to you, especially when they are scared or worried about the tooth pain they may face. Your role will be to help them get through the appointment and procedure without worry.
#9. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN
Being an effective communicator is only half the battle. In fact, you need to be able to listen and practice your listening skills often. Patients will tell you what bothers them, why they are at the dentist office, and discuss their concerns with you. You need to be able to convey these messages to the dentist and convey any messages to the patients from the dentist.
TRAIN TO BECOME A DENTAL ASSISTANT AT UEI COLLEGE TODAY
UEI College is proud to offer our dental assistant program to students who are looking to train in a new skill or looking to switch to a new career. Our program can be completed in as little as 8 months and once the program is completed, you will be prepared for entry-level work in a dental office.
If you would like to discuss your options, now is a great time to speak with one of the UEI College program advisors today.