One degree makes the difference between water boiling and being just really hot. It’s a scientific fact, and it’s also something that I’ve seen often in dental practices and with dental assistants. These practices (and assistants) are so close to achieving what they want in their careers, but there’s just something that isn’t allowing them to reach that boiling point.
I know a lot of really good dental assistants out there and I’ve been fortunate enough to meet so many amazing assistants in my 20-plus years in the industry. I mean, they are excellent at what they do clinically and their people skills are superb. They are the dental assistants that every dental practice would love to have as a part of their team.
Yet, they know and I know that they have weaknesses in their careers. Heck, we all do, right? There are things that we do really well, and other things we know we could be better at doing.
There’s a divide with so many of these dental assistants between what makes them so good and what could make them great. Maybe it’s acknowledging they need help. Maybe it’s finally signing up for that course that will put their clinical knowledge over the top. Maybe it’s simply sitting down and thinking about what it’s going to take for them to reach their goals in 2021 and beyond.
These were my thoughts recently as my wife and I visited Loveland Pass along the Continental Divide. This is about 90 minutes from our house, and we love to hike in the area when weather permits. As we crossed over the Continental Divide, I thought about the things that keep us from achieving the levels we can and should in our lives and careers.
So many times, the obstacle that we must overcome is one that we put in our own path. Maybe it’s self-doubt. Maybe it’s lacking the motivation to take that one more course or read that one more article. Maybe it’s something else, but it’s often different for each of us.
Today I ask you: What’s the divide keeping you on the “good” side rather than the “great” side of dentistry? It’s something to think about as 2021 continues to roll along.
An advocate of today’s dental assistant, Kevin Henry speaks to dental audiences across the nation on topics that empower dental assistants, helping them recognize the leadership role they hold in the practice. He is the cofounder of IgniteDA.net, a community designed to enlighten, empower, and educate dental assistants.