As most would probably agree, the year 2020 brought unexpected changes to the dental office.
As a result of the pandemic, dental assistants have taken on more duties at work. You now play a critical role in implementing new screening, social-distancing and infection control protocols to help prevent COVID-19 exposure. And you’re still the person in the office who helps keep everything running smoothly while ensuring patient safety and comfort.
This is a lot to handle each day. Even so, we continue hearing from dental assistants who say — despite these and other challenges — they know they’re in the perfect career. Here’s why.
1. You love helping people.
Even though the dental industry has seen many changes, one thing remains steadfast. Patients always need dental care and their dental teams.
Dental assistants recognize, especially now, that they’re essential to helping patients accept the dentist-recommended treatment. For so many, being able to proudly fulfill this responsibility reaffirms they chose the right professional path.
“I don’t come to work for recognition,” says Joye L., who has been a dental assistant for 35-plus years. “I love what I do, and to see people helped is enough. I’m meant to be a dental assistant.”
2. You enjoy your dental teammates.
Another sign you’re where you’re meant to be: when you feel surrounded by like-minded colleagues who respect and uplift you — who inspire you to continue growing, learning and reaching for your goals.
With the number of hours dental assistants spend at work, the importance of feeling like you belong cannot be overstated.
Angel S. definitely feels lucky to be on a team with such a strong rapport: “I have to say, I’m surrounded by and learning from the best dental team! We always work well together. My colleagues make me better professionally, as well as a better person.”
Anne W. agrees: “The year 2020 was an interesting one for sure, to say the least. But it REALLY helps when you have such caring and amazing people to work with. For that, I feel eternally grateful.”
3. You feel valued.
Dental assistants likely know they are valuable members of the team, but it helps to hear this from patients, co-workers and employers — especially during times of high stress. When your efforts are acknowledged and you feel supported, this can reinforce your career choice.
“I am fortunate to work with an amazing team, including front office staff and hygienists, who consistently recognize and thank us assistants,” reports Matt K. “This means a lot.”
Beyond extending words of gratitude to their employees, some dentists also show appreciation by providing additional pay, flexible schedules and opportunities to grow into other areas of the dental office. “It speaks volumes when hardworking dental assistants are treated nicely and paid well,” agrees Kris H.
Through fulfilling a patient-care purpose, working seamlessly with the team, and experiencing the benefits of all their hard work, dental assistants ultimately can find something priceless. “I have peace of mind,” believes Carrie Y.
Were you meant to be a dental assistant? Share your thoughts.