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How life’s waves can make you a better dental assistant

Feb. 22, 2019
All dental assistants will have waves in their lives. It's how they handle those waves that makes a difference.
Kevin Henry, Cofounder,

Hello from the skies above the Midwestern United States. As I write this, I’m headed to be a part of IgniteDA’s full day of dental assistant education at Yankee Dental Congress in Boston. Also as I write this, parts of our country are engulfed in the coldest air to reach America in decades, as people in southern California and Florida chuckle.

Winter is tough for some people. The snow, the cold, and the long periods of darkness make some long for the arrival of spring and baseball season. During the depths of winter, some people even escape the cold for warmer climates, even if for a few days. In mid-January, I was lucky enough to spend a week on the big island of Hawaii, celebrating my mother-in-law’s birthday. She lives about 10 miles from where the Kilueau volcano blew last year, which caused so much devastation and changed the island forever. I’m very thankful that she is OK, and part of her birthday celebration was also to celebrate the closing of that chapter for her and her fellow Hawaiians.

While in Hawaii, my wife and I soaked up some sun and spent time taking in the views. That included plenty of trips to the shore to watch the ocean and be mesmerized by its beauty, both in sight and sound. There is something about the sound of crashing waves that I find very peaceful.

While we watched the waves one day we talked about their power, especially when they hit rocks with such force that they shoot spray into the sky. I thought about those rocks and how the waves crash against them every single day. Small bit by small bit, the water is eroding those rocks, but you would never know it standing there and watching it happen. The rocks seem strong and unbreakable, despite the power of the water beating against them again and again and again.

There are going to be days when the waves of life come crashing upon you, including moments in the dental office where drama blows up or something that was said or seen might shake you to your core. It happens to even the best assistants working in the best practices. When it does happen, the question becomes this: How do you make sure you’re a rock that is strong and mighty enough to withstand the waves that beat against you?

It’s never easy, but the dental assistants who not only believe in themselves but also know what they stand for and “walk that talk” every day will be prepared when the waves hit. What do you believe in and how are you getting stronger in those beliefs and your career?

Make sure you’re taking every opportunity to learn and grow in your career. Make sure you’re furthering your education and networking with other like-minded professionals (through IgniteDA and other groups). Knowing that there are others who believe like you do and have the same passions that you do works wonders in the midst of a storm. Knowing you’re not alone and that you have support is a tremendous asset in times of turmoil.

The waves are going to crash against all of us at some point. Be a rock by being prepared and confident in yourself and your abilities, and grab every opportunity you can to better yourself. After all, if you don’t believe in yourself, who will?

If you need some help doing this, reach out to me at [email protected]. IgniteDA has lectures and full-day courses throughout the US designed specifically for dental assistants, including a day of learning at the Hinman Meeting in Atlanta in March. We mean it when we say, “Together We Rise.”

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