In honor of National Dental Assistant’s Recognition Week, we want to thank and appreciate the men and women who service your smile. Behind most dentists, there is a hard working dental assistant. Acting as the Robin to their Batman, the Chewbacca to their Han Solo, or the floss to their toothbrush, a dental assistant’s role is important to dentists’ every day routines.
Oh, that’s very interesting…But what exactly does a dental assistant do?
One can obviously assume that dental assistants work in the dental industry and that, well, they assist. But what do they assist with? How do they contribute in the day to day activities of a dental office? Do they have to preform surgeries? Do they interact directly with patients or only with dentists? If this is the career you are thinking of getting into, it’s important to understand just what a dental assistant does:
The duties of a dental assistant
Just like most job positions, the precise duties of dental assistants varies from one practice to another. Different state regulations, the size of a practice and services offered at the practice are all factors that alter the demands of dental assistant. That being said, these general tasks, as laid out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, are what to expect when dental assisting;
- Arranging patient appointments.
- Keep patient records, including records of dental treatments and of payments.
- Processing dental X-rays and completing lab tasks under the supervision of a dentist.
- Ensure that patients are settled in and comfortable in the dental chair.
- Sterilizing dental instruments.
- Prep patients and the work area for the dental procedures and treatments that are to be done.
- Handing instruments to the dentist as they work on a patient.
- Cleaning up the mouth using a suction hose and other equipment as the dentist performs a procedure.
- Advising patients on any follow-up care they need to do such as using particular dental products.
Qualities of a good dental assistant
Ok, now that we have gone over the technical aspects of the job, what are the some social qualities expected? Well, a good assistant will have the following skills;
1) Detail orientated in order to follow rules and regulations as pertains to general dental hygiene and in helping a dentist carry out specific procedures.
2) Dexterity which means an ability to work with the hands. This is important because dental work is done on a particular tooth with precision tools and instruments.
3) Interpersonal skills to be able to work well with patients and dentists. For instance, a good assistant will be able to calm down a stressed or scared patient.
4) Listening skills to be able to listen to patients and the dentist, understand what they need and give it to them. Listening skills are also important to be able to learn the right way to carry out tasks like dental X-rays and tests.
5) Organizational skills to be able to put everything in order for the dentist and also to be able to maintain accurate patient records.
Job outlook for dental assistants
Now that we’ve covered the technical and social prospects of the job, let’s check out what the forecast is in the demand for dental assistants; According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, prospects are good. It is expected that employment will grow by 18% between 2014 through 2024. 1 This is attributed to research findings that are increasing the demand for preventive dental services. Growth will also be enabled by more people having access to health insurance. Having cover for dental care will have more people seeing their dentist.
So there you have it. A dental assistant, in the very least, is the dentist’s go-to for tasks including lab work, record keeping and instrument sterilization, while they act as a dental specific version of Jiminy Cricket, supplying patients with instructions on how to care for their teeth and comfort by listening to patient needs.
To learn about Centura’s Dental Assistant Diploma program, visit http://centuracollege.edu/college-programs/health-science/dental-assisting/index.html.
Dressing for the Interview:
Centura College’s Virginia Beach Campus held a “Get ‘Suited’ for the Right Career Fashion Show” on Tuesday, November 15, 2016. The event provided all students with a first-look at professional attire to wear to interviews within various industries. Participants modeled acceptable and unacceptable attire to wear to job interviews, externships, work, and college.
Before each job interview, hopeful candidates must decide what to wear. This is a big decision as one wants to make a positive, lasting impression within the first 30 seconds of meeting a potential future employer. The fashion show was a fun, unique way for Centura students to bring to life the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ of what to wear for an interview through role-play.
And where does Centura Virginia Beach find all of these stylish tips and tricks, one might ask? Fashionista and Career Services Coordinator, Damika Howard-Wayne. In addition to acting as the campus’s professional work attire stylist, Ms. Howard-Wayne coaches our students and graduates through mock interviews and assists with resume and cover letter writing.
The event was a success that created an awareness of how to dress appropriate for interviews within Centura’s different fields of study: Business, management, information technology and medical assisting, just to name a few. The fashion show concluded with Ms. Howard-Wayne providing feedback to the group as to why outfits were and weren’t acceptable interview outfits.
Thank you to the staff and students who attended the fashion show and especially those students who participated. From the Information Technology Specialist Program, those students included: Marcus Barrett, Melissa Warden, Santana Crump, Lakeasha Hill, Caitlin Loughner, and Rachqel Ricks. The students of the Business Program consisted of Mayowa Afolabi, Emily Griffin, Tamara Harvey, Alexander-Ireland, Kerry Kavula, Lena Pagan-Mohr, and William Prince. From the Medical Assisting Programs, the students included: Debra Brackett, Jewel Hall, Paulette Perkins, and Allison Wells.
Pictured (Left-to-Right): Kerry Kavula; Debra Brackett; Allison Wells, Ms. Damika Howard-Wayne, Career Services Coordinator; Tamara Harvey, Paulette Perkins, and Jewel Hall.
Centura Virginia Beach Prepares Students for Job Interviews
Written by Jeff Barbour, Edited by Jul DeGeus
Centura College Brings In-Demand HVAC Training to Richmond
Centura College’s North Chesterfield campus now offers training in heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
Centura College launches their Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Certificate program to help meet the nation-wide need for HVAC Technicians.
RICHMOND, Va. (August 31, 2016) – Centura College’s Richmond campus announces a new beginning with their Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Certificate program. Through training, students will work hands-on with air conditioning and heating systems, residential and commercial refrigeration, heat pumps, hydronics and more. Students can enroll now for a September 26th class start.
“The demand for quality HVAC technicians is extremely high right now. The residential and commercial industries are severely undermanned with the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook forecasting a 14 percent employment growth in the field of HVAC from 2014 to 2024,” said Centura College’s Corporate Director of Industrial Trades, Dennis Brakeville. “One critical reason is that seasoned technicians are reaching retirement age. This gives entry-level technicians the opportunity to fill these positions in a short period of time with competitive pay and benefits.”
The program is designed to take 12 months to complete and prepares students for entry-level positions within the HVAC industry. Graduates of the program will have acquired the knowledge to prepare for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification exam, which is a requirement for everyone entering the industry. Students will also be equipped to test for additional certifications, such as the Industry Competency Examination (ICE) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10-hour Safety Certification. Career opportunities following graduation include positions with HVAC companies, builders and contractors, hotels and other specialty companies.
Centura College’s Richmond campus is located at 7914 Midlothian Turnpike in North Chesterfield, Va. For more information, call 804-330-0111.
About Centura College
Centura College has been part of an organization dedicated to helping men and women develop careers since 1969. By training working adults in healthcare, technology, business, legal studies and trades, they connect communities with some of the fastest growing career fields in today’s marketplace. Currently, Centura College’s Richmond campus is now enrolling students to train for careers in; medical assisting, massage therapy, dental assisting, nurse aide, phlebotomy, heating, ventilation and air conditioning, and building maintenance and repair. The school offers professional facilities, knowledgeable instructors, day or evening classes, job placement assistance and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). To learn more, visit www.CenturaCollege.edu or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/centura.edu.