Finding the right balance

April 19, 2011
Natalie Kaweckyj, LDARF, CDA, CDPMA, COA, COMSA, CPDA, MADAA, BA, president of the American Dental Assistants Association, says springtime is a great time to brush up on continuing education and network with career-minded colleagues, particularly through the ADAA national organization. The ADAA can meet you wherever you are in your dental assisting career.

Springtime is here, and many of us have annual rituals to get our homes in order for the warm weather. We go through closets and eliminate clutter, work in our yards, and clean our homes from top to bottom. Have you ever considered a spring tune-up for your career?

Springtime is a great time to brush up on continuing education, attend the many state and regional dental meetings, and network with other career-minded individuals. No matter what phase of your career you’re in, the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) has something for you! Our continuing-education library is continually growing, and the course offerings can be accessed here.

Dental assisting students can take advantage of the graduated student dues scale as they ease their way into their new careers. Students holding full- or part-time student status in a course that lasts at least three months can apply for ADAA student membership. Dues are $30, with an option to purchase liability insurance for an additional $10. Students who are currently members of the ADAA will receive a dues notice approx¬imately six weeks prior to their membership expiration (12/31 of each year). The renewal form will be for graduated active membership, at $65 plus state association dues for the first year, $85 plus state association dues for the second year, and finally, $105 plus state association dues for the third year. Full active national dues plus state association dues are required in the fourth year after joining as a student member. Students in the graduated active membership receive the same full list of membership benefits as those who are regular active members. This is a great way to ease your way into the profession.

For the dental assistant who has been practicing for a while, we at ADAA encourage you to join the professional organization in your state. Most of the states have fairly active organizations that meet throughout the year and have your best interests as a dental assistant in mind with the activities they plan. National dues are $115 plus individual state dues, which depend on the state. Once enrolled, I encourage you to become active in the organization. Additional membership information can be accessed here.

For the seasoned member, I applaud you for continuing your membership with the ADAA. It is true that in numbers our voices are heard more and more. For those of us who have been longtime members and are actively involved with our local, state, and national components, it is important to maintain that perfect balance between our professional and personal life. Maintaining a sense of humor, establishing a network of friends and colleagues, nurturing relationships with patients, and getting time for oneself are the key ingredients for flourishing as a leader in the profession of dental assisting. It’s important to enjoy what you do. Our personal lives are very important and should not take a back seat to the pressures of our careers. If you are working too hard to enjoy life, then something is wrong.

Energy and passion are infectious. Friends and colleagues often share their energy to give a much-needed boost to those of us who are feeling less than enthusiastic about our careers. Networking is all about timing and who you know. As they say, membership has its privileges.

Until next time, happy spring!

President, American Dental Assistants Association