Laura Ruscio, CDA, CPFDA, CRFDA, of Reading, Massachusetts, credits DANB with inspiring her to take her career to the next level. Here, we caught up with Laura to learn more about her certification journey and why she recommends DANB certification to fellow dental assistants.
DANB: Can you tell us about your dental assisting career?
Laura Ruscio: I am a 31-year veteran dental assistant and a proud DANB certificant. I spent the first 24 years of my career in endodontics and then transitioned to general dentistry.
Who encouraged you to become DANB certified?
My employer, Kallen K. Hull, D.M.D., has been so instrumental in supporting me and encouraging me to always keep learning.
I found working in general dentistry to be a completely different experience than working in endodontics. As Dr. Hull was introducing me to all things general dentistry, I was completely fascinated. I wanted to learn everything about assisting in general dentistry, but not just the technical part. I also wanted to know why a certain instrument or material was needed. It was very early on as a new general dentistry assistant that I realized I could benefit from Continuing Dental Education (CDE) and certification.
I had heard about DANB certification, and I knew what I had to do. Dr. Hull was so excited that I wanted to take that step. He said it showed him how dedicated I was.
How did you prepare for the DANB exams?
DANB gives great recommendations for study aids. I studied, studied and studied, using the DALE Foundation’s study aids and practice tests, which are great resources! I also found DANB’s exam blueprints to be helpful.
How did you feel after you passed the first DANB exam you took?
I took DANB’s Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) certification exam in April 2013. When I passed the exam, I was so proud, and so was Dr. Hull. I felt such a sense of accomplishment and knowledge that I went on to earn DANB’s Certified Preventive Functions Dental Assistant (CPFDA) and Certified Restorative Functions Dental Assistant (CRFDA) certifications as well.
When I earned that last certification, I was so inspired to learn more that I decided to also go for my emergency medical technician license. I believe that I would never have had the courage to do that without DANB.
What does DANB certification mean to you?
Earning three DANB certifications was the best thing I’ve ever done in my career. In addition to providing me with knowledge, DANB helped strengthen my skill sets and took the passion I already had for dentistry to a whole new level.
When an assistant is DANB certified, it shows that they have made a higher commitment to themselves, their profession and their patients. A lot of people ask about my certificates on display in our waiting room. I love that our patients have the confidence in me to ask me questions about their oral health, and I love even more that I can answer those questions.
What would you say to a dental assistant who is considering becoming DANB certified?
I’d say: What are you waiting for? Knowledge is power. Overall, DANB certification enhances your knowledge and gives you a greater sense of professional pride. Earning DANB certification makes you a greater asset to your practice.
CDA Certificants, Share Your Story!
2018 marks the 70th year of CDA certification. In honor of this 70-year milestone, DANB is spotlighting certificants who can speak to the value of DANB certification.
Have you earned DANB certification? How has DANB certification impacted your career? Send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.