Dental assistant skills for resume: list of top qualities needed to succeed in assisting dental staff, which can also give a boost to resumes
The services of a dental assistant are needed in a dental clinic where they assist the dentist or dental nurse in carrying out both office tasks and clinical procedures.
To effectively perform the duties and responsibilities of the dental assistant, the individual vying for this position is required to posses certain skills.
These skills can also be used in making resumes for the position. They are highlighted in the core competence section or skills section of the resume (see sample dental assistant resume) to show ability to succeed on the job assisting a dental nurse or a dentist.
Here is a list of 13 skills you need to have to be effective as a dental assistant, which you can also highlight in your resume:
1. Attention to detail
As a helper to the dentist, it’s important for the assistant to pay attention to instructions regarding patients’ treatment and office procedures. When this is missing, wrong medications could be administered, which could result to issues that may bring the clinic into disrepute.
For one in the medical profession, compassion is needed in attending to patients. This is because it makes you to want to help them from the depth of your heart, and not just because it’s your obligation.
3. Interpersonal skills
The dental assistant carries out minor treatment tasks on patients based on the dentist’s instructions. To do such task effectively, assistants need to have a good degree of interpersonal skills to relate with patients in a cordial manner, paying attention to their condition, and getting information of how they are feeling. By applying this skill, the assistant is able to keep track of patients’ recuperation process.
4. Sterilization skills
Treatment tools used on patients have to be properly cleaned and put in a healthy condition for future use, to avoid infection. As a dental assistant, you must be able to use the right chemicals to get tools ready for use whenever they are needed.
5. Mixing of fillings
The ability to mix fillings to be applied to patients’ tooth is a core skill the assistant should have to succeed on the job because their work revolves around the teeth. Knowing the right items to add together and the right quantity shows the competence of the dental assistant.
6. Dental knowledge
There are laid down procedures in the dental practice which must be observed during treatment. The assistant must therefore be familiar with these procedures and adhere to them in executing assigned tasks perfectly with little or no supervision.
7. Organizational skills
To make the job of the dentist easier, the assistant needs to ensure that all clinical items are in the right places, especially during treatment. It takes organizational skills to be able to put things in orderly fashion. The assistant must have such skills to ensure that tools needed are handed to the dentist or nurse promptly upon request.
Keeping medical records for future use and reference is important in the clinics. The dentist assistant must be able to properly document activities in the clinic, including procedures carried out on patients. They must be able to use relevant devices to record dental procedures so as to avoid forgetting any aspect of the procedure.
9. Observational skills
The ability to observe signs in patients is important in identifying the symptoms and conditions patients may not have mentioned earlier, and inform the dentist about it for prompt treatment.
10. Communication skills
The ability to interact with clients effectively is key to the success of the job. With good communication skills, the assistant to the dentist can inform patients about treatment procedures and needs, and provide answers to their questions on behalf of the dentist without passing the wrong information.
There are likely to be emergency cases in the clinic which would demand prompt attention of the dentist to prevent patients’ condition deteriorating. The assistant is therefore expected to be prepared at all times for emergency situation.
12. Good hygiene
Due to the sensitive nature of the job, good hygiene must be maintained in accordance with professional standards. The dental assistant must be able to keep treatment tools clean and also ensure that the environment is clean at all times.
13. Retentive memory
Keeping track of patients’ condition and knowing their treatment stages are important skills a dental assistant must have to help patients make complete recovery. A good memory will enable the assistant to keep the dentist properly informed by providing him/her with accurate data of patients’ conditions for adequate follow up, and to administer basic treatment on patients based on the dentist’s instructions.
The dental assistant is as important as the dentist in a clinic, and that’s because they facilitate smooth operations in the clinic, making the job less cumbersome for the dentist.
As a result of the critical role they play in the clinic, it is important that they possess the skills listed above to succeed on the job and avoid lapses in the operation of the clinic.
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