The Importance of Communication as a Dental Assistant
There are so many important traits that an effective dental assistant needs to have. One of the most important of these is the ability to communicate clearly, effectively, and in such a way that makes both your patients and your coworkers happy for you to show up to work each day. Being a dental assistant requires that you communicate effectively with patients, hygienists, dentists, and office staff.
Communication with Patients
As a dental assistant, perhaps the most important group of people that you will be communicating with are your patients. Often times, you will be the person that leaves the most lasting impression on a patient, and that means that to a great extent, whether or not they come back, will be based on how your interaction with them goes. So be polite, be kind, and be a genuinely good listener.
Communication between dental assistants and patients is also important because another very important part of what a dental assistant does, is to educate patients about proper dental hygiene, things that they can do to avoid damaging their teeth, etc. That means that you need to focus your efforts on communicating as effectively as possible with patients.
Communication with Hygienists
It is also very important as a dental assistant that you learn to communicate effectively with the hygienists that you will be working with. You will learn a lot from hygienists and you will be working closely with them, so work at developing a healthy work relationship with them. Be helpful, anticipate what they need, get to know their habits and preferences. Go get a coffee with them and ask for feedback about how to improve as an assistant. Most people are uncomfortable with receiving feedback, but what they tell you will help you improve drastically.
Communication with Dentists
Likewise, getting to know the dentist(s) that you will be working under and learning their habits and anticipating what they want/need will be a huge factor in your longevity in the office and how effective you are as a member of the team. The doctor is the member of the dental team that you will work most closely with, so the dynamic of this particular relationship is very important.
Take a look here for a more in-depth look at the doctor/dental assistant relationship.
Communication with Office Staff
Also, not to be neglected is your relationship with the office staff. Remember that a dental practice, even the quite large ones, are really small operations where everyone knows everyone else for the most part. In order for the working environment to be a healthy and productive one, everyone needs to understand their role and do everything they can to support everyone else's roles.
Follow this link to read more about how to increase effective communication in the dental office.
Stay tuned for more ideas and pointers!