Why it’s critical to manage your dental assisting continuing education credits

Want to make yourself stand out from the rest of the dental assistants? Make continuing education and updating your knowledge in your field a priority. It will pay off!

Dec 14th, 2016
Never Stop Learning

Want to make yourself stand out from the rest of the dental assistants? Make continuing education and updating your knowledge in your field a priority. It will pay off!

When you're a newly-qualified dental assistant (or other dental professional), the thought of doing more studying can often seem unbearable. But tracking continuing education credits is vitally important in this day and age if you plan to advance your career. Many states require dental professionals to complete education credits in order to renew their license, so make sure you do these CE credits in a timely manner in order to avoid any problems with renewing your license.

As a dental assistant, if you have searched and applied for jobs in the dental industry within the last few years, you probably know there tend to be many applicants for one position. More often than not, each applicant will have the same dental degree or experience, so in order to make you stand out from the crowd, additional CE credits could give you an advantage. If the employer sees that you have completed more credits than necessary, it gives the impression you’re eager to learn, motivated, and want to expand your knowledge. The employer will realize that you’ll be able to transfer these additional skills into your new job, as he or she will be looking for employees that want to go above the call of duty.

Peter Cargill, founder and president of DentReps.com, said, “Working as the corporate partner to the American Dental Assistants Association, DentReps understands the value most dental assistants place on CE. Not only does managing your CE provide a way to prove to employers that you’re not only on plan to meet the required credits, but it shows employers that you’re hungry for knowledge and enjoy learning. That’s why we find it so important to have a tool so that dental assistants and other dental professionals are able to effectively and efficiently track not just CE, but also licensing and certifications.”

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Instead of managing CE manually, the “old-fashioned way,” an online state-specific CE tracker will track your CE based on your state’s rules and regulations. They are typically simple and easy to use. Dental professionals have the ability to upload certificates and gain a better understanding of what each state requires without having to read the state rules all the time. It also provides the ability to quickly view your CE compliance progress, renewal dates, transcripts, and more. You can now even include a report that shows all of your CE as well as your licensing and certificates, and attach it with any job application. One example of such a tracker is provided for free on DentReps CE Tracker powered by CE Zoom.

Continuing education credits are essential if you want to stay abreast of the latest techniques in the dental industry. Let’s say you’re a dental assistant who qualified in the ‘80s or ‘90s when many of today’s dental techniques weren’t around yet. You may not have the same up-to-date knowledge as someone who recently qualified to be an assistant. In order to provide your patients with the most optimal level of care, you should employ the most modern treatment techniques in an effective and safe way. This can be achieved with continuing education credits.

Completing these credits is absolutely essential If you want to progress and work in new areas. If you prefer a specialized area, then you could take this further and use the newly-acquired knowledge you gained and move on to more study before applying for that next job. The more credits you complete, the more opportunities will come your way.

As you complete these credits, make sure you network and exchange pleasantries with other dental professionals in your courses. Sometimes they might know about opportunities in the industry for which you’d be a good fit. In this age of the Internet and searching new dental jobs, you’ll be very surprised at the power of word of mouth.

Sarah Thiel, cofounder and CEO of CE Zoom, said, “Dental assistants may not feel that tracking CE is important, however, if they’re a Certified Dental Assistant certificant through DANB, they have different requirements to meet every year to renew their certification. Also, some states require CDA certificants to obtain CE in addition to what DANB requires. Know your rules and what is required of you by state.”

There are numerous advantages for completing CE credits, so make sure you take advantage of these credits in order to improve your knowledge of the dental industry. Use every tool possible within your reach. These will only enhance your well being both personally and professionally!

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Peter Cargill is an entrepreneurial, executive leader, and founder of DentReps, The Dental Jobs Site, and DR Recruiting, Dentistry’s Recruiting Solution. Peter has spent the past decade primarily in the dental industry, both domestically and internationally. He has a MBA from Boston College and Loyola University Chicago and a BA in Business from Stonehill College, as a well as an Executive Certificate from the University of Notre Dame's Mendoza School of Business. Peter is also a volunteer at Boston Children’s Hospital and is certified to work with Children of Foster Care and Adoption.

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