Saturday, January 18, 2014

Dental Assisting: 10 tips to be an effective DentalAssistant

We have seen what a Dentist wants from a good dental assistant. Let us look at how we can be more effective at work, so that we can perform better.

1. Get Organised

First thing first. We have to be really organised in the dental office. We need to know where the instruments are, where the procedure tubs are etc. 
I find that keeping the instruments arranged in the order the boss wanted to use.[???] My filling instruments are in the same place. The composite tub always has the extra shades, articulating paper, polishing discs, micro brushes, clear matrix, and so on.
Our Endo tub has all the RCT items like files, paper points, cotton pellets, the endo instruments the dentist really likes and cavit for the initial appointments. I have the syringes for the disinfectant solution for the canals also in the tub. 
If you can't remember all of the steps your dentist follows, then make notes for yourself and keep it in the tubs too. That way you can have a quick look and make sure everything is available within reach before starting the procedure. 

2. Stop Multi tasking

I know, our bosses sometimes want to get things done faster than we can possibly do. But don't fool yourself - just concentrate on the task at hand. We are doing enough multitasking by doing the suction and retracting the tongue or cheek itself. 

3.Know what the Dentist wants

What is the motto of the office? What does the dentist want to project? Is it a whiter smile or a healthier smile? Does the dentist like you giving post op or not? Do he/she like you to move the light to improve visibility? Do they really want the instruments to be passed or want them to be in the tray? Do they like you anticipating the next step and being ready or to take things only after they ask? 
Follow accordingly.

4. Have strong relationships with co-workers

It is very important to have strong relationships with everyone in the office. The receptionist in the office may have been there for a longer time than you. The technician who comes once in a while might know more about the office than you think. The people who comes to pick up lab cases regularly can be of great help, if you have a friendly relationship with them. 

5. Listen carefully

Listen to the dentist. Then listen to patients and co-workers. This helps you to earn more appreciation from your boss and co-workers. 

6. Come Early

I Know it's not applicable to all offices. But if you have a key or your office opens a little bit earlier than the first patient, this is helpful for earning a stress free day. We can prepare things early and be ready for the first patient. Arriving 5 minutes early will make you feel less anxious too. 

7. Be Healthy

We cannot afford to be sick when we earn an hourly rate with no health benefits and sick leaves. 

So take care of you. Eat healthy, exercise and take those flu shots in the winter time. Use hand sanitisers. If the office don't buy the hand moisturizers for the staff, have yours easily accessible for you after each hand-washing. Un-broken skin is your better barrier against the diseases.  Do all thats possible to be healthy. If possible, bargain with the dentist to get a free cleaning for you every 6 months.

 8. Take time to relax

Dental assisting is a stressful job. Make sure to take a few minutes everyday to relax and gain clarity about the work you do. 

9. Never stop learning

Do you think dental assisting is a dead end job? It will be only if you stop learning new things. Learn a bit more everyday. It can be oral hygiene, infection control, or a new dental product. Spend fifteen minutes to watch a dental video or to read a dental blog. Anything is better than doing nothing, right? 

10. Have a positive attitude

Last but not least, have a positive attitude. People love a positive person. Your boss can be mean and co-workers can be bothering. You cannot control other people. We all have control over one thing though: That is ourselves and our attitude, and that is our greatest asset. 

Do you have any other tips to be more effective? Do you like to share your special method to be more effective?
Please share your thoughts in the comments. 

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