When you’re starting a career as a dental assistant, it can be exciting to become a part of a team of other dental professionals. If you’re driven and want to succeed, you likely want to do what you can to become more skilled and professional. If you’re looking for ways to become a top professional, there are a few important tips to follow to ensure you stand out and can truly make a difference.
Become More Organized
Dental assistants are an asset to their team and provide better service to their patients when they’re organized. You’ll have many responsibilities and will be required to multi-task at times, making it necessary to remain organized to avoid mistakes throughout the day. Cutting corners or having a cluttered environment can put the patients’ health at risk.
Expect to explain procedures to patients, review the supplies and inventory, answer phones, and even prepare different materials. If you know how to be organized, you’ll become more thorough and efficient.
Improve Your Professionalism
A high level of professionalism is key to ensure you represent the dental office well and allow patients to trust the services you provide. Practicing professionalism includes remaining punctual, dressing professionally, and showing you’re dependable to ensure the patient knows they’re in safe hands. It’s also important to have a positive attitude to make it a more uplifting environment where patients feel welcome. If you’re able to be cheerful, it can provide your patients with a great experience and contribute more to their life.
Improve Your Communication Skills
The communication you offer to patients influences how prepared and at ease they feel in the dental office. It’s important to explain the types of services they’ll receive during the visit to ensure they know what to expect. Proper communication is also an essential part of the job because you need to inform the patients on proper oral hygiene to improve their oral health. Be sure to ask if they have any questions and make eye contact as you communicate to ensure they feel valued and prioritized.
Work on Your People Skills
Due to the number of people you interact with throughout the day, having proper people skills is crucial to how well you care for your patients. Work on your people skills to ensure they feel calm and relaxed during a cleaning or exam. Make it a point to ask about their day and if they have any plans for the weekend. Making a connection can help them to feel like they’re in safe hands and that you have their best interest in mind.
Great Dental Assistants Listen Better
Listening is also necessary as you interact with each patient and other healthcare professionals in the office who are a part of your team. Your ability to listen will determine how well you follow instructions from the dentist or other dental professionals when making a phone call or doing x-rays.
When you’re speaking with a patient on the phone, listening to their questions or concerns and taking notes is necessary to prevent anything from getting lost in translation when it reaches the dentist.
Listening requires making eye contact without having your back turned to the individual. It’s important to face the person to show they have your attention. Listening also includes giving feedback to confirm you understand the instructions or requests of the person you’re interacting within the office.
Maintain a Polished Appearance
Many times, you’re the first person patients see when they visit the office and take a seat in the chair. You’ll need to wear clean scrubs and practice good hygiene. You should also have access to safety glasses, gloves, protective clothing, and even surgical masks.
Your physical appearance represents the office and influences how seriously patients take your services. It’s important to have a groomed and polished appearance with brushed or styled hair. Applying light makeup can also enhance your appearance and allow you to look more fresh and tidy. Having a bright smile will also reflect your oral hygiene and can show you take your dental health seriously.
Have Good Computer Skills
As an assistant, you will still have to work on a computer while caring for different patients. Basic computer knowledge is a necessary skill to have to improve the efficiency of the office and get the job done. It’s important to have the ability to type quickly and have experience using Microsoft Office suite. You may be responsible for transcribing notes, filing insurance claims, and even managing patient files to keep the office organized.
Have a Passion for Your Profession
People will quickly see if you have a passion and love for your job, which will determine how much you progress in your career. Passion is a must-have to becoming a top assistant and is necessary for providing a high level of care to patients for their peace of mind. If you’re passionate about the work you perform, it will translate into providing better care and can inspire other dental professionals to work harder. It will allow you to feel fulfilled in your job, allowing you to be happy to work within the setting.
There are strict rules and protocols to follow, making it necessary to be detail-oriented to avoid minor mistakes. You have to be knowledgeable about the specific tasks you can complete, depending on the state of where you work. You have to be quick to correct any issues or mistakes. It’s also important to be quick to solve a problem that you encounter and have the ability to work hard to resolve it without relying too much on other people to assist.
Knowing what it takes to become a top dental assistant in a dental office is key to succeeding in your profession and making an impact on the patients you interact with each day. Working on honing your skills can allow you to deliver quality services and have more opportunities in your career.