As an ambitious dental assistant, you will no doubt be doing all that you can to learn new skills and be the best that you can be. There are some ways that you can really take your career and skill set to the next level by showing a little initiative, drive and of course some additional training through dental hygiene continuing education.
1. Understand how long a procedure will take
If you are able to adequately manage your time, and the time of the doctor that you work for, you will be able to impress any dentist. It may be worth taking some notes about how long it takes to do simple things like prepping a patient, taking x-rays and many other tasks that you will need to be performing on a regular basis. This allows you to manage the expectations of your colleagues and also reduce waiting times for patients. By having a good feel for the chair time for patients you will also be making their experience much more comfortable.
2. Ask for more duties
As with any job, if you feel that your time is not being used as effectively as it could be, you should not be shy about asking for greater responsibilities. There may be some training that you can take that will allow you to progress to another position within the dentist’s office, or even a promotion and wage increase.
3. Always be prepared
There is nothing more annoying to a dentist that has to wait to perform their next procedure. Their time is often already maxed out and anything that you can do to make their day more convenient will go a long way to impressing them. By becoming a member of the dentist’s team that they can not only rely upon but find essential is the goal.
4. Understand your role in the practice
Every member of the dental team has a role to play in the practice. By establishing what needs to be done and by whom you will be able to ensure that nothing slips through the cracks. If the roles and responsibilities have not already been outlined in your workplace, you should make sure that you offer to take the initiative to get this organized yourself.
5. Get some additional training
If you are really looking to get ahead in your role as a dental assistant then you should absolutely seek out some additional training and qualifications. If you are unsure of where to start then you should definitely ask your colleagues for some advice. The dentist that you work for will be able to give you some pointers on areas that you could expand upon and the opportunity for growth within the practice.
Just like any career, you should be prepared to build a professional network. This can be done through a class or training that you attend. Or at a dental conference. There are many free events in the dental profession that you could attend in order to expand your network. A strong, well-established network can be the key to career advancement.
7. A positive attitude
By coming into the dental practice every day with a positive attitude you will be able to treat patients better and be much more enjoyable to work with every day. In a demanding job such as that of a dental assistant, it is important that you are able to stay positive as the workload can often get very demanding. The rewards as you progress through your career are great too!