Friday, January 3, 2014

Dental Assistant's realization

So you are a dental assistant. How do you help your dentist?

I learned to mix the cements, take the X-rays , transfer the instruments and do infection control. They also taught us we are supposed to talk to the patients while seating them. We also earned to do charting and not to talk about patients and treatments to other people. 
Now, with all this knowledge, we started working only to realize that what we learned is just a small part in real work place.

We need to be very mindful what Dr.X is doing. Sometimes, from our side we may not have a clear vision of what they are working on. So, we will try to move our chair, and oops, we just hit the foot pedal with the wheel of the chair. So, we just stand up to see more. 

While trying to do a good job in suctioning, your other hand should adjust the light so the Dr.X can see it clearly. In my experience, one Dr. X will immediately re-adjust the light. Then another Dr.X insisted that I should not touch the light handle at all. So, we really should know the dentist's likes and dislikes. Otherwise, our life is going to be very miserable and we will see us soon out of the job.

If we know what they are going to do ( from the schedule), we can arrange the instruments and materials before they start prepping. 
While doing the drilling, they may change plans. Instead of a composite filling, she finds an IRM is better. So, we need to put away the materials and ready for the IRM. 

Some offices have the foot pedal with a switch for the water flow. When the dentist take high speed hand piece, some pro-active assistants will turn the switch with foot, so that the dentist don't have to think about it. That is a great way to be the favorite assistant  to a lady dentist. 

 Identify the instruments they use. Even with simple composite fillings, each dentist has a preference of instruments.
One of my favorite dentists love to use hollenback carver whenever she uses matrix band for restoration. The other dentist in the same office do not like a hollenback at all. 
One dentist do not like me taking the curing light until she verbally says to "cure it". 
I lost my confidence over the years by being compared to the previous assistants who already left the office. many many years, I was taken for granted and never been told I did help Dr.X. I used to hate being a dental assistant. Yet I do find few dentists whom i love to work with.

My favorite dentist do tells me things I needed to know about the office, the procedure, and the instruments.

The best dentist I ever worked with was a new grad. I am still doing dental assisting because of the way he treated me. Before that I never considered myself as a good dental assistant. 

 Now, I understand that I have some good qualities which every dentist likes. Even though I am not a 100% perfect assistant, some dentists really love to have me in their office, like my present boss. 

I am thankful that I am lucky to meet few nice people in dental field. 
Dear dentist, your assistant might not be perfectly reading your mind, yet complement her when she is up to your expectation. I know, I will be eager to help you more when I know I am doing something right.

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