What jobs require good communication skills?
Is a dental assistant one of them?
Let’s answer the first question first. These days, there’s hardly a job out there that doesn’t require some semblance of communication ability.
Which is ironic considering most of us choose the modern way of communicating – SMS, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram – or anything else that avoids reverting to that old fashioned face-to-face talking nonsense.
But, be it a shelf stacker in a supermarket or ladder climber in a stockbroker, real people with moving mouths are going to talk to you and expect you to talk back. Someone might ask the shelf stacker where they can find tinned sardines. And while “Dunno,” might have been perfectly fine once upon a time, every employer with a brand to uphold is now a representative of that brand. Said shelf stacker is therefore required to go in polite pursuit of sardines or find someone who knows where they are; a form of client communication, albeit a basic one.
Whether shelf stacker, warehouse packer or Kerry Packer, communication is an essential part of your skill set. So let’s move into the realms of dental assistant, a worthy and rewarding job, no question. Why do dental assistants need good communication skills?
Don’t dentists do most of the talking?
If you’ve ever sat in a dentist’s chair for a filling, that would be a safe assumption to make; dentists do, in fact, do all of the talking. You, as the dental assistant, simply act as provider of all the suction pumps, drills and cotton rods while the dentist chats to a patient incapable of saying anything. However, it’s away from the dentist’s chair, before and after, that your communication skills will become an asset as a stigma stabilizer.
Don’t most people hate dentists?
They do and, as the person meeting and greeting at the front desk, you’re the one they’re going to tell. Agitation will be a common denominator as they discuss high expectations of excruciating pain. As a dental communicator, your job is to know the realities of modern dental practices, their largely pain-free nature, and to impart this in simple, reassuring terms. That’s a skill; a people skill embracing knowledge, warmth and patience.
Don’t forget the power of your eyes
This is particularly relevant to kids. As a dental assistant, you’ll spend a lot of time in a mask hiding your biggest comforting asset, the reassuring smile. So, particularly when there’s a nervous child in the chair looking at the only bit of your face they can see through pleading eyes, learn to use your eyes as two bright and cheery orbs of calm.
Communication is a skill
Communication is an integral part of your dental armoury, but it can be developed over time with practice and experience. Remember, dental clinics are scary places for most people. As the face of your dental clinic, you can develop the interpersonal skills to alleviate client stress and make your clinic a more comfortable place to visit.
If you have a passion for dental assisting and want to take it to the next level contact us today on 1300 616 197 and speak with one of friendly career advisors to get started!
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