For dental assistants, patients come first. We hear dental assistants say interacting with patients is the best part of the job, and one of the qualities we see dental assistants display over and over again is empathy — the ability to relate to what the patient is going through.

We asked dental assistants how they put themselves in the patients’ shoes to make their experience a more pleasant one. Read some answers below and let us know how you do it in the comments!


Think like family.

“After 21 years, we are family — we share stories about our families, grandchildren, aches and pains. We often greet each other with hugs and end a visit with a hug.”

– Karen S.


Remember the golden rule.

“I treat my patients the way I want to be treated — with integrity and respect.”

– Kathy H., CDA


Keep them company.

“I tend to listen to the talkers or sit and hold a hand of an elder if they wish — patients feel forgotten when staff chats it up in the lounge and leaves them to get numb.”

– Ethan B.


Ask them questions.

“I let them know I’ll be taking care of them and ask them questions to better serve them in their needs. If I see they are apprehensive, then I up my game and talk them through everything so they better understand.”

– Mema S.


Lead with compassion.

“Compassion and empathy! You need to express it on each and every patient. Wow them with your compassion always and forever they will return with more confidence in your care.”

– Lana P.


Share your approach in the comments!