In the role of a dental assistant, good communication is essential when it comes to treating patients effectively and working together with your colleagues. Whether you’re assisting with a procedure, answering the phone, or educating a patient about proper oral hygiene, your communication skills will determine your ability to speak and listen effectively to those around you in a dental office.
Read on to discover why communication is so important as a dental assistant, and how you can work to improve your communication skills throughout your career.
As a Certified Dental Assistant, Patient Communication Is Crucial
As dentists and dental hygienists often rely on dental assistants to communicate with patients before and after a procedure, speaking with patients is one of a dental assistant’s primary duties. When you become a certified dental assistant, your communication skills will come in handy when preparing patients for a procedure. Patients often experience anxiety or stress before a visit to the dentist, and with strong communication skills, you’ll be able to listen to their fears and help them to relax.
Additionally, you’ll use your communication skills when educating patients about their oral hygiene practices. Often, patients will need guidance when it comes to perfecting their home care routine, and by communicating with patients clearly about their oral hygiene, you’ll be able to help them improve their oral health.
Communication Skills will be Important When Working with Other Dental Professionals
If you’re pursuing dental assistant training, you’ll be hoping to soon work in a dental office alongside many other professionals. In this environment, good communication skills won’t just come in handy when interacting with patients—when assisting dentists with procedures, communication skills will be essential when it comes to providing a high level of hands-on support. When communicating with the dentist, you’ll be able to anticipate their needs, fulfill their requests, and ensure a smooth procedure.
You’ll also be working with other dental office professionals to keep operations running efficiently around the office. This might involve communicating with your colleagues about inventory supplies, potential scheduling conflicts, or patient needs. Building your communication skills can enhance your success as a dental assistant, as your ability to work productively with others will improve.
To Improve Your Communication Skills, Focus on These Strategies
If communication isn’t your strongest suit, there are plenty of strategies you can use to improve your skills in this area. Good communication involves using both verbal and nonverbal communication strategies. For example, improving your body language is one of the best ways to boost your ability to communicate effectively. Show others that they can trust you by focusing your eyes on the speaker and letting them know you’re engaged by nodding and reacting to what they’re saying. You can also improve your communication skills by treating others with empathy. If a patient is particularly nervous or a member of your team is stressed, speaking to them with empathy will go a long way in establishing trust, paving the way for a clear channel of communication.
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Get the training you need with a program at the Canadian Academy of Dental Hygiene.