Dental Assistant: Are you a team player with strong organizational skills and manual dexterity who can multi-task?
You should consider becoming a dental assistant.
A few of the tasks that may fill your day include preparing patients for dental procedures.
Scheduling appointments; setting up and operating equipment; and maintaining patient records.
Earning a Certificate III in Dental Assisting will give you an advantage over other candidates for jobs.
The Dental Assistants Professional Association is one of the registered training organizations offering this program.
In many states, you might have the option of completing the certificate through a traineeship.
Job examples: casual dental assistant, dental assistant, dental assistant – oral health services, dental assistant / receptionist, senior dental assistant, trainee dental assistant.
As a Dental Assistant, you’ll get to improve the lives of patients by providing empathetic and knowledgeable care.
From day-to-day, your work will constantly change as new cases come in and as you switch between administrative and clinical tasks.
If you’re interested in becoming a medical assistant.
You’ll pursue on-site training in a healthcare facility or coursework to prepare you for your career.
We’ve compiled answers to your most important questions on becoming a medical assistant so that you’ll be ready to get a job in this fast-growing field!
Most programs are split up into separate terms that go over general medical knowledge (like anatomy), administrative knowledge (like professional communication), and clinical skills (like giving injections).
3. Find a doctor to train you as a Dental Assistant.
Call and introduce yourself. Ask if that healthcare facility is looking for Dental Assistant or if they’d be willing to take on a Dental Assistant to train.
- If you are hired as a Dental Assistant without prior experience.
- You’ll receive substantial on-site training. As an added benefit, you’ll be paid to learn on the job!
If you do decide to go to school for a medical assisting program, you can take either of these tracks:
- Dental Certificate/Diploma. Choose this option if you’d like to complete your coursework in 9 months to a year.
- Dental Associate Degree. Choose this option if you’d like more in-depth coursework and would like to study for 2 years.
6. Consider your financial situation.
Once you’re ready to take a certification exam, choose a certification provider nationally accredited by the NCCA. The exam will test you on general knowledge of the healthcare field (like medical ethics and risk management), administrative practices (like patient scheduling and establishing records), and clinical knowledge (like anatomy and assisting providers).
- Different certification providers have different eligibility requirements, costs, recertification requirements, and testing methods.
- Nationally accredited certification exams include certifications by the AAMA, AMT, NHA, and NCCT.
- Once you have enough work experience you may be eligible to take a nationally accredited certification exam without having to go back to school. Organizations like National Healthcareer Association, NCCT, and AMT offer some kind of work experience eligibility for their NCCA accredited MA exams.X
9. Connect with a potential employer during your externship.
If you can’t find an MA position, try to find a position at a hospital or doctor’s office front desk doing clerical work to get to know the practice. Ask to shadow experienced MAs to learn what they do and see if you like where they work.
- Make sure that your resume and cover letter are specifically tailored to each office to which you’re applying. For instance, if you’re applying to work at a pediatric office, emphasize why you’d be a good fit to work with children.
13. Develop your multitasking and analytical skills.
The essence of your job, aside from the occasional administrative duties, is helping other people. Medical assisting might be a great career for you if you get satisfaction from the idea that your help makes a difference in other people’s lives.
16. You can typically train to become an MA in 9 months to 2 years.
Likely, you’ll be assigned to one clinician and their patients. You’ll bring patients to the proper exam room, take their vitals, and update their medical history. On the administrative side, you might take care of a doctor’s mail, input info from incoming patient forms, schedule appointments, and put in lab orders. On the clinical side, you might swab for strep or flu, test patients’ visual acuity, perform glucose finger stick tests, and more. At some healthcare facilities, you might give injections or draw blood, while at other providers, a CNA or RN will do that.
- You can work part-time, full-time, during weekends, or night shifts