Laura Ruiz Career Research Paper Rough Draft Period: 4
A job provides money to cover a person’s expenses and necessities, a career is doing something you love and getting paid to do it. My dream career is to become a dental assistant. The definition of a dental assistant is an assistant to the dental operator in providing more efficient dental treatment, by preparing the patient for treatment, sterilizing instruments, passing instruments during the procedure, holding suction devices, exposing dental radiographs, taking impressions, and fabricating provisional crowns. Dental operators can focus more time on the procedure; the dental assistant then effectively becomes the operator's extra hands. I became interested in Dental Assisting because I love working with people, I am very detailed oriented and I love working with my hands.
In 1885, Women were not allowed to visit any practitioners without a chaperone, this lead Dr. C. Edmund Kells to come up with a fantastic idea of hiring a female assistant. Dr. Kells hired a young lady by the name of Malvina Cueri, she is credited as the first dental assistant. The dental assistant profession took off in the 1990’s when women were independent to go visit the dentist on their own terms. In 1924, the American Dental Assistants Association was created. Another historical figure in Dental Assisting is Emiline Roberts; at age seventeen, she assisted her dentist husband, who also trained her in dentistry. Later she opened her own dental practice and became the first dentist as a woman in the United States. Lucy B. Hobbs-Taylor is another significant individual in the history of Dental Assisting; her admission into dental school was denied, so she worked for a dentist, who then trained her to become a partnering dentist in his practice. Lucy B. Hobbs-Taylor was admitted to the Ohio College of Dental Surgery, making her the first woman to graduate from a dental school. Each of these women were successful in this profession because they had did not allow obstacles to hinder them from achieving their goal, but instead looked for other opportunities to open the door to a career in dentistry.
Dental Assisting is a profession; there are requirements to obtain this career. It only takes about nine to eleven months to become a dental assistant. Although regulations vary from state to state; nationally, to receive certification, an individual receives their education through community colleges, technical schools, dental schools, and universities. At the end of the course students are to pass the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) exam, Radiation Health and Safety Exam and the Infection Control Exam.
To become successful in this career, a dental assistant needs to have certain skills and personality traits. Strong work ethic, empathy, respect, dependability, integrity, honest communication, able to work under pressure and stress, have a sense of humor, and a team player are all good qualities of a great dental assistant.
Some occupations that are similar to dental assisting are: Dental Hygienist, Orthodontist, Medical Laboratory Technicians, Medical Assistants, and Radiologic technicians.
The responsibilities of a Dental Assistant are the most varied position in the dental office. Dental Assistant duties are both interpersonal and technical. Some of the typical tasks of an average day as a dental assistant would consist of: preparing treatment rooms and patients, taking/ developing radiographs, review medical history with the patient, assisting the doctor in procedures, working with infection control, front desk receptionist work, educating patients in proper oral health and instructions for post-surgery, along with many other duties. This position is very significant to the dental office team. The dental assistant doesn’t just assist the doctor, but they are the bridge between the doctor and patients. They play a vital role in keeping the office always prepared for patients and making them feel comfortable during their appointment. The assistant helps the doctor in so many areas, which makes it possible for the doctor to focus on other matters. Typically, the Dental assistant is the lower position in dentistry; most of the other positions are above them, including the dentist and dental hygienist. However, the receptionist and dental assistant work side by side with front desk work.
A Dental assistant typically works a 35-40 hour work week; although it varies from office to office. The environment is professional at all times. The income range for this career is $24,770-$39,145. The median is about $32,178. It is hourly pay.
Some benefits a dental assistant receives are paid vacation/ holiday/ sick leave, health care plans, short and long-term disability, and savings/ retirement plans.
Although this seems like a perfect and flawless job to me, it does have its challenges. Having to anticipate what the doctor needs before he request for it during a procedure, working under high stress doctors and circumstances all are emotionally challenging. Physical attributes of this position causes pain and aches in the wrist, feet, fingers and in the lower back. It is possible to be in need of carpel tunnel surgery.
There is a negative and positive side to every career. The perks to this career is being able to help others, work relatively independent, working in a professional atmosphere, and working with a small team.
In Salt Lake City, Utah; this job has a strong employment outlook and a relative low wage. The economic downturn has driven patients, doctors, and laboratory workers to seek more cost effective solutions than the past. In Utah there are many dental practices that offer positions for a dental assistant. This career benefits the community by getting rid of bad breath; oral diseases and making people feel confident about their smiles.
Overall, Dental Assisting is a significant career in our society. Dental Assistants work in a demanding and rewarding field. Without them doctors would struggle to provide proper care for their patients. This career would be a great choice for me because I love working with others and making a difference. My personality fits with the characteristics needed for this career. I could see myself assisting a dentist by helping society with oral health.