Dental assistants are used to working in a fast-paced and high-stress environment. But there are some strategies many dental assistants use to stay energized so they can continue to thrive in their profession.
Talk to Someone
Talk with your boss and co-workers about how you are feeling and how to create a healthy work environment. That could include fostering a culture of mutual support, investing in ergonomic furniture and equipment, empowering dental assistants with more challenging responsibilities, or implementing a wellness program. In addition, counseling sessions and support groups can help you develop an action plan to combat stress and burnout. Venting to family or friends helps, too.
Reignite Your Passion
Enroll in continuing education courses to reinvigorate your interest in the profession. Take some courses on topics that you’ve always wanted to learn about and could expand your skills. The DALE Foundation, the official affiliate of the Dental Assisting National Board, Inc., is one option for earning continuing education credits.
Join the American Dental Assistants Association and your local and state dental assistants association chapters. You’ll meet others in your profession who understand what you are going through and get opportunities to pursue continuing education – ultimately bolstering your pride in and commitment to your career.
Try to take a short break every 90 minutes. Stretch in between treating patients or on approved breaks. Studies show that people who take short breaks during the day have a 30 percent higher level of focus than those who don’t take a break or those who only take one break a day.
Prioritize Your Well-Being
Be sure to tend to your physical health. Eat meals that have protein and minimize sugar and refined carbs while also drinking plenty of water. Regular exercise is crucial as well. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 150 minutes of exercise per week. And get enough sleep. Although everybody’s sleep needs vary, aim for at least eight hours of sleep a night.
Having a strong support system of family, friends and community ties can help you develop resiliency in the face of high-stress demands at work. Also create camaraderie and harmonious relationships with your colleagues to lift each other’s spirits, relieve stress and improve collaboration.
What are some of the ways you stay energized as a dental assistant?