The average person visits the dentist two times each year, and it’s no surprise that they expect to receive exceptional service during these important appointments. Once you become a dental assistant, you’ll be responsible for tasks like sterilizing and laying out tools in the treatment room, guiding patients to the dentist’s chair, providing assistance through most dental procedures, and more. These responsibilities all happen to play a major role in providing patients with a positive experience.
Of course, everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and as a dental assistant, you won’t be expected to perform perfectly all the time. Luckily, you can learn from the oversights of others before you find employment in a dental office.
If youa��re planning to enroll in dental assistant courses, or youa��ve recently started your program, read on for a guide to some of the most common blunders made by dental assistants, and learn how you can avoid making them once you start your career!
Forgetting Patient Follow-up Calls During Your Dental Assistant Career
Following-up with patients is important, especially if they underwent surgery. Dental assistant training teaches you that some procedures involving stitches might leave patients prone to infection with improper care, so following-up is a great way to ensure that patients are taking the right steps to heal after treatment.A� After completing a patient follow-up call, remember to review and update their charts accordingly.
Even a courtesy call to confirm the date of a patienta��s next appointment is good practice, because it shows them that their dental office cares.
Being Unprofessional During Your Dental Assistant Career
Professionalism refers to what you say and how you carry yourself with patients and other members of the oral care team during your dental assistant career. Since you’ll be chatting with patients often before they see the dentist, you’ll probably get to know many of them over time. It’s crucial, however, to remember that you’re always representing your dental office. Don’t tell them about your bad day, or anything your coworkers might be going through, it reflects poorly on the practice.
Some patients experience anxiety when going to the dentist, so keeping things light, professional, and positive helps everyone have a smooth visit. The dental assistant’s code of ethics describes the importance of professionalism with your future colleagues. Avoiding things like gossip will help keep your work environment friendly, and your work relationships supportive.
Having Poor Time Management Skills During Your Dental Assistant Career
Ita��s easy for a dental assistant to make a small error in scheduling appointments. In fact, youa��d be surprised how many sometimes double-book patients, or underestimate how much time is needed between patients.
To avoid such oversights, and to reach your full potential during your dental assistant career, you’ll need to strengthen your time management skills. In an assisting role, you’ll have to keep an eye on patients, staff, and even the dentist’s schedule to ensure that everything runs as it should. A scheduling error can put everyone behind for the day.A� You have to find ways to allow yourself sufficient time for cleaning tools, prepping your work area, and allowing patients to settle-in before each visit.
Choose a nationally accredited dental assistant school, where you’ll learn all the best practices before launching your career.
Visit CADH to learn more about our programs or to speak with an advisor.