KOMET Korner Q&A with Shari Becker, CDA, RDA, FADAA, for October 2010 DAD

Oct. 19, 2010
Shari Becker returns as this month's contributor to KOMET Korner. Shari talks about the importance of becoming a member of the American Dental Assistants Association, how a dental office can go paperless, and how to get involved in charities.

Shari Becker returns and is this month’s contributor to KOMET Korner. Shari talks about the importance of becoming a member of the American Dental Assistants Association, how a dental office can go paperless, and how to get involved in charities. If you have something you want to ask KOMET USA’s panel of assistants, please e-mail your question to [email protected]. We promise to answer your questions in the next available issue.

DAD: How important is it to join the ADAA? What is the difference between my state association and the national association?

Becker: As dental professionals, supporting your professional organization is critical. The American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) is the professional organization for all dental auxiliaries including front office, back office, laboratory, educators, product representatives, students — everyone. The ADAA is the premier resource for dental assistant education, providing live and home study courses. Whether you are preparing for your national board, radiation certification, updating your infection-control protocol, or learning about the latest dental materials, the ADAA has the education you need. The ADAA is a member-driven organization that continues to set the bar for professionalism, education, and ethics. The ADAA is a tripartite organization. When you join the ADAA, you automatically become a member of your state organization and a local component in your area. Each state association focuses on the individual concerns and needs within that state. The individual states then have an opportunity to network with other states within their district, and the district trustees then represent their states to the ADAA Board of Trustees. It is a great system that allows initiative and support from the local component to the state, from state to state, state to district, and district to the national level. Our local and state associations fall under the umbrella of the ADAA.

DAD: Has your office gone paperless? If so, what’s the best way to accomplish this task?

Becker: Our office is 25% paper and 75% computerized. We will soon make the transition to digitizing our paper charts completely. As we all know, paperless is coming — whether you are ready or not. Depending on the size of the practice and how much there may be to digitize, there are a numerous ways to approach this task. There are services available to scan charts, X-rays, and other documentation. Some services may be time-consuming and costly. Depending on your software, you will need to consult with your current vendor and make sure that as you digitize your records, they will be compatible with your current business software. You may need to update your hardware to accommodate the data being entered. Also, you may require additional software to bridge programs and retrieve all of your documentation.

DAD: Does your dentist recommend that your office get involved in charities? If so, are charities beneficial, not just to those you help, but also in marketing the practice?

Becker: Our office does participate in charitable events and donations. When getting involved with any charity or community service, the motive should be sincere. Participating in a charity is a way to market the practice, but should not be the main reason for the donation of services or materials. Involving your practice in a charitable way is a great way to say “thank you” to the community and give back to others, not expect to “get ahead” with a marketing plan. We are in the health-care profession, and we should participate in those charities we believe in and support because we care, not because we expect a payback.

About Shari Becker, CDA, RDA, FADAA
Shari Becker has been a full-time chairside assistant for Dr. Stephen R. Snow in Danville, Calif., for 15 years and has been an RDA and CDA since 1985. Shari is on the faculty at the Mt. Diablo Adult Education Center in Concord, Calif., and has been teaching dental assisting for more than 15 years. She is a member of the American Dental Assistants Association, the California Dental Assistants Association, Diablo Dental Assistants Society, the California Association of Dental Assisting Teachers, and the California Council on Adult Education. She is a fellow of the American Dental Assistants Association and is currently serving as the 12th District Trustee to the American Dental Assistants Association, representing California, Nevada, Hawaii, and Guam. She has served in many capacities on the local, state, and national levels, including president of the California Dental Assistants Association and president of the California Association of Dental Assisting Teachers. Shari is currently working in conjunction with dental manufacturing companies to heighten the awareness of dental assistants and acknowledge their contribution to the profession of dentistry.