Hats off to the students!

May 18, 2010
ADAA President Angela M. Swatts, CDA, EFDA, has some thoughts to share with graduates as they begin their dental assisting careers.

By Angela M. Swatts, CDA, EFDA
President, American Dental Assistants Association

Spring is in the air and graduation is right around the corner for dental assisting students everywhere. As you enter a new phase of your life, I ask you to take a few moments to reflect on your new career as a dental assistant.

I have had the privilege of speaking to students from all over the country during my term as president of the ADAA. What a joy it has been to share with them about the ADAA and my career as a dental assistant.

Every time I speak to students, I stress dental assisting is a career, not just a job. We are not just dental assistants; we are much, much more! With the training you have received as a core, the sky is the limit. Some of you will remain chairside assistants; others will continue their education to become expanded function dental assistants. Some will choose to use their dental assisting knowledge to become office administrators or clinic coordinators. Some will heed the calling to become dental assisting educators, while still others will seek careers within the military, public health, and manufacturing industry.

I urge you to continue your education. I know it is hard to imagine continuing to learn as you look forward to your graduation and to the end of hours of lectures, studying, and exams; however, knowledge is the key to your continued success. Never stop learning; never stop aspiring to be the best dental assistant you can be. View dental assisting as a career and it will serve you well.

I urge you to participate in your professional organization, the ADAA. As a member of the ADAA, you will have access to continuing education, information, and mentorship in your chosen profession. I wish you much luck in your new career as a dental assistant, and I hope you are as blessed as I have been in my career.

Finally, let us give a special thank you to all the dental assisting educators who have dedicated their time, talent, and treasure to dental assisting students throughout the country. It is their passion and knowledge of dentistry that continues to inspire future dental assistants. Congrats to all on a job well done!