Dental Assistants play a big role in any successful dental practice. So what makes a great dental assistant? Below are six habits of a highly effective dental assistant.

1) Develop a Personal Mission Statement: Don’t look back on your life and wonder where you are. Decide what you want from your career… what kind of office do you want to be a part of… and what’s your philosophy of practice. Have a vision.

2) Take Responsibility for your Career: Think proactively and be confident in your career choice. Don’t let others and your environment distract you.

3) Time Well Spent: How do you want to spend your time in your career? Don’t be afraid to say “no” to things that don’t fit with your values and priorities. And definitely let go of the guilt you feel when you do choose to say no. You will be better serviced picking only a few things and do them WELL, rather than saying yes to everything.

4) Practice Open-mindedness: COMMUNICATE! First and foremost, learn to be an effective listener, this will make understanding much easier. There are many different patients and co-workers with which to communicate within the office setting. Everybody has a story to tell, and everybody may be fighting something in their lives that might be making them difficult to be around. Try to listen to what they are saying and empathize with them. It’s OK to disagree, but don’t do so at the risk of minimizing the other person. Learn to get along and play well with others!

5) Create a Win-Win Environment: Dentistry is all about the TEAM! The front office has to get along with the back office ….. do not mark your territory, but be open to compromise. A win-win viewpoint can benefit everyone in the office in most any circumstance. SEEK SOLUTIONS & QUIT COMPLAINING!

6) Seek Balance: I hear the word “balance” all the time now, …stay healthy, eat well, exercise, rest, vacation, etc. Try to seek continuing education opportunities to sharpen your skills and keep you engaged in your career. Spend time on your relationships…i.e. spouse, kids, friends, etc… Volunteer with your local dental society. Look for your own inner peace. A little balance goes a long way!

Source: Dentistry iQ – Online Resource for Dental Professionals