A good dental assistant follows all the rules and lives up to the dentists expectations. A great dental assistant exceeds them!
Today I want to mention a few essentials that dental assistants must do consistently to catch the attention of the dentists, and the patients:
- Keep a Sterile Field: This is critical. If you need to open a drawer, move the mouse on the computer, or pick something up, then take off your gloves! There is nothing worse than watching your patient watch the assistant open a drawer to get something out with her dirty gloves. This is not the way towards getting a raise!
- Keep Learning: You need to continue to improve while assisting. Don’t just sit there and dream. Move! Clean the area, whip the patients face, hand instruments even if they are wrong, clean the instruments before handing them, communicate with the patient. Energy! You need to radiate positive energy. You are an “assistant” not a suction machine.
- Watch for Things to Clean: Here is a little trick I have used for a while during interviews for new assistants. My staff would drop a crumbled piece of paper on the floor where you cannot miss it in the hallway. Then I would walk down the hallway with the interviewing assistant, right past the obvious piece of paper. Few pick the piece of paper up, but those are the assistants that I move along in the interview process, the rest don’t get a call back. To work for an office like mine you need to be extraordinary! That is why offices like mine pay great and are top practices! So, even if you already have a job, pick up trash, clean the screen on the patient light, check the mirror for fingerprints before handing it to the patient. These little things make a huge difference!
Enjoy this great profession! Go the extra mile and you will be rewarded, I promise.