These are uniquely challenging times for everyone — and especially for dental assistants who are working in the office during the pandemic.

Nick K. agrees: “This is not an easy time to be a dental assistant.”

The results of a recent Dental Assisting National Board survey conducted in October 2020 support this point. The responses illustrate a plethora of stressors felt among dental assistants in particular, as they strive to balance increased duties at work and at home, plus carry general, constant concern about COVID-19 exposure.

It’s a lot to manage, to put it lightly.

But we also know that dental assistants are strong, hard workers. We acknowledge that you continue to show up as you’re able, to help the practice weather all the changes, and ultimately, to care for your patients who need you. (We continue to see you, dental assistants, and we thank you.)

These days, we wonder: Where do dental assistants draw their strength from? Below, you share some thoughts.


Family Support

Most dental assistants say they’re motivated to continue working to take care of their patients, so they ultimately can take care of all those who depend on them at home.

Says Jessica E., CDA: “I continue assisting during this time because my family needs me. We need to have health insurance.”

Brenda T., CDA, can relate as well: “I have a family who my income helps to support. I do know that things could be a lot worse, which is what keeps me strong right now. My family is what I focus on.”


Team Collaboration

Dental assistants and their colleagues are also drawing strength from one another during this time, so they can best support their patients and the entire practice. “The most successful and cohesive dental teams go the extra mile together, and this is very much true this year,” believes Lori A., COA.

Likewise, Joann I. has leaned on her team more so than usual lately. She is thankful to have dedicated and like-minded co-workers who share her passion for caregiving, especially in such a time of need.

“I would like to express my support to all of the healthcare workers in the midst of this pandemic,” Joann elaborates. “I was very nervous at first about working during this time, but I’m also proud to have the opportunity to do my part as part of my team, however small it may be.”


The ‘All about Patients’ Purpose

It’s true: Dental teams are coming together now around an important shared purpose: helping people through a uniquely stressful time to access oral healthcare. As Debbie E. says, “At our office, our whole motto is: ‘It’s all about our patients.’ Everything is about them.” Dental assistants and their colleagues are dedicated to continuing to provide patients with comfort, helping them to access dentist-recommended treatment, and keeping them safe.

We recognize that all this requires great strength from dental assistants who are able to look on the bright side in times of uncertainty.

“During the pandemic, our team stays positive by concentrating on what we do have, rather than what we don’t,” summarizes Doreen D., CDA. “As a team, we know that this is a very scary time for our patients. Not only are they in pain, but they also have the concerns of being in a clinic that is attached to a hospital where there have been COVID cases. We do our best to make patients comfortable and cared for.”


Where do you draw strength from during this time? Share your thoughts.