Ask a dental assistant what they love about their profession, and you’re likely to hear plenty of positive responses.
Helping patients, first and foremost. Working alongside supportive dental professionals. Learning new things and, likely as a result, advancing in the workplace.
It’s true: For those dedicated dental assisting professionals, there are many rewards to the role — even considering all the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dental assistants’ unwavering passion for the profession deserves to be celebrated, especially during Dental Assistants Recognition Week, held March 7-13, 2021. Below are some top reasons dental assistants say they love their career.
Helping patients is the best feeling ever.
Typically, when dental assistants talk about the rewards of their role, being able to help patients is the No. 1 item that comes to mind. Dental assistants simply love helping patients improve their oral health, which can alleviate their pain, enhance their overall health or transform their smiles, and more. Patients with healthy mouths and smiles likely have boosted confidence, plus tend to return to the dental office for future care. This benefits not only the patients, but also the practice. Often, patients credit their dental assistant’s skill, knowledge and efforts as a reason they keep coming back.
“I enjoy helping patients to feel better and helping them relax during their procedure,” shares Hilda, CDA. “When patients tell you that you made their appointment enjoyable, it’s nice to feel appreciated.”
“I get to help people achieve their oral health goals,” adds Jackie, CDA. “I like helping people smile!”
No day in dental assisting is ever the same.
Dental assistants also often say they love the variety in their workday. Since every patient is different, so is every appointment and patient interaction. Plus, many dental assistants are cross-trained to work both in the clinical side of the office and at the front desk. What’s more, there are many opportunities for dental assistants to advance in the dental office, from performing infection control duties to taking on expanded functions as their state allows. As you can imagine, a day in the life of a dental assistant is never without excitement.
“I love working with various patients, doing a variety of tasks, and the fast pace of my day,” agrees Suzie.
“The best thing about being a dental assistant is helping people, plus all the variety,” adds Linda, CDA.
Opportunities to learn something new.
The most successful dental assistants are committed to lifelong learning. They enjoy regularly taking continuing education (CE) courses to stay up-to-date on the latest dental procedures and advancements, including when it comes to infection control. Those especially motivated dental assistants seek to demonstrate their knowledge through earning and maintaining DANB certification and completing CE options, such as those available online through the DALE Foundation.
“I have been working as a dental assistant for 24 years. I love going to work every day. I’m always learning,” shares Karen, CDA.
Agrees Jammie, CDA: “I’ve been in my practice for almost 19 years, and I am always learning something, every day. We have seen so many advancements, whether it’s with technology or general procedures. Dentistry is constantly changing.”
What do you love about being a dental assistant? Share your thoughts!