This article is dedicated to the hardest working and most important practice builders of every dental practice – dental assistants! These are the women and men who work effortlessly to provide patients with the utmost professional care by offering compassion and sympathy, and helping to coach patients through some of the most delicate moments of their lives.
I write this with the intention of not only shedding light on the importance of recognizing dental assistants during Dental Assistant Recognition Week (DARW) this week, but also to acknowledge each and every dental assistant who goes above and beyond expectations to exhibit magnificent work ethics. I’ve seen this exhibited often in my years as a dental practice manager. These assistants make everyone’s life easier and less stressful, often at their own expense.
Here are some of the traits of outstanding dental assistants:
• They greet each and every patient in a warm and friendly manner.
• They review all new patient charts to check occupation and/or marital status so they can start a friendly conversation and relate to each patient.
• They ensure that each instrument is sterile, and they disinfect rooms completely prior to seating patients.
• They seat each patient promptly, and if they aren't able to do so they make sure to apologize to the patient for not being able to do so.
• They explain each step in detail, starting with the X-ray process straight through to the actual procedure.
• They set up each operatory to provide comfort and warmth during the patient’s procedure.
• They sit chairside to ensure 100% emotional support during each case presentation and/or treatment.
• They escort patients to the front desk after their dental procedure.
• They offer help to other assistants during their time of need.
• They lead by example to ensure a smooth patient transition flow throughout the office.
Here’s wishing every dental assistant who goes above and beyond the call of duty a wonderful DARW. We’re hoping your fellow dental staff members do something extra special for you this week to recognize your efforts.