Dental Assistant...A Good Career Change?

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Billy in Keyport, New Jersey

79 months ago

I'm looking to make a switch in my career from business to the dental field. I have done a bunch of research as for options and schools, and found dental assistant to be a good start. I also found a school with the program I would need.
How tough is the course with radiology and externship to certification?

But my biggest obstacle seems to be the fact that the profession of Dental Assistant tends to be more female than male. Have you ever come across a guy Dental Assistant in school or in the field? Do you think that the fact that I am a guy would make me less likely to get the job? I'm really concerned about being a employable person, because as a Web Designer, there is just too few jobs and much to much competition!
Anyway, thanks for your time! Sorry about the 20 questions.

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ssnva1 in Richmond, Virginia

77 months ago

Go to nursing school!!!!!!! Thats what I am doing. There is no advancement in assisting unless you go back to school for hygiene...which pays great if you wanna clean teeth all day. Also very little advancement! NURSING SCHOOL is the way to go!

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Tasha in Jacksonville, Florida

76 months ago

Billy in Keyport, New Jersey said: I'm looking to make a switch in my career from business to the dental field. I have done a bunch of research as for options and schools, and found dental assistant to be a good start. I also found a school with the program I would need.
How tough is the course with radiology and externship to certification?

But my biggest obstacle seems to be the fact that the profession of Dental Assistant tends to be more female than male. Have you ever come across a guy Dental Assistant in school or in the field? Do you think that the fact that I am a guy would make me less likely to get the job? I'm really concerned about being a employable person, because as a Web Designer, there is just too few jobs and much to much competition!
Anyway, thanks for your time! Sorry about the 20 questions.

No because I went to school for with a male and I know of a male that has been an assistant for years.

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Stacey in Denver, Colorado

74 months ago

Stevie in Kyle, Texas said: I will have to disagree with the "go to nursing school" comment. Don't get me wrong, my wife is a nurse and she loves it. However, there is a lot of schooling required and at my age I just wasn't up to it. I'm a 38 year old guy making a career change. I just wanted something stable or secure. You know, no layoffs or business closures. Yes, I'm the only male in class, but that's ok with me! And Dental Assistants make great money. Plus, most only work four days a week. Don't go by the pay rate on some of the salary web sites as they are on the conservative side. Generally the pay for a certified Dental Assistant starts at around $15 and tops out at about $25. These amounts were given to me by my Dental Assistant instructor. My sister-in-law has been a dental assistant for ten years and she makes $26 an hour. If you are "DANB" certified you can make up to $40 an hour and work in a hospital or even teach.

I am currently a Cerified Nurse Assistant in a Denver hospital and we make about $12.00/hour.(Thats with 5 years experience mind you!!) So I am looking for a career change and Dental Assisting definitely interests me. However I have not heard of "DANB". Can you please describe that for me?

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Stevie in Kyle, Texas

74 months ago

Sure, this is the web address... www.danb.org. You will find all the info you need.

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KC in Calgary, Alberta

74 months ago

Dental Assisting is the best decision I have ever made. And don't worry about the gender thing. The Dr that I work for is a woman in a mostly male dominated feild! The course is NOT HARD and the hours are great. I work in orthodontics and I love it! Clean, fast paced and you get to see that wonderful changes to people's smiles and lives! I would never do anything else!

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dental for you in Willingboro, New Jersey

74 months ago

I know in boston some dental assitants make 55 dollars an hour now that's money. in new jersey they make anywhere from 16-30 with a little experience.

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mtsads.com in Brooklyn, New York

73 months ago

Currently I invest people money at www.mtsads.com, and now Im looking for something more stable. Ive been looking at a school called NY School for Med & Dental Assistants, has anyone been to this school. Is it worth the $10,000?

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Steve in Girard, Pennsylvania

71 months ago

Hello
I am a male dental assistant student currently in school. i worked as a part-time dental assistant for about 6 months and it was great. Its a growing field for male dental assistants, just like male nurses!
i decided to go to school so I could get DANB certified which would make it easier for me to get a job when I move south. i am the only male in a class of 30 but there were 3 other guys signed up but they dropped out due to finances. Its a different story in the military, it's 99% guy assistants. You could be a civilian dental assistant.
School is okay, sometimes its a little hard but at other times it's easy...the school I go to has real strick policies and the instructors think they are gods gift but that is just how this one is. I say good luck to you! Oh and its great being the only guy!!!

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vuyo in Nottingham, United Kingdom

71 months ago

I am a female and a qualified dental assistant for 4yrs in the uk, but im a south african, and now im joining the british army to be a dental nurse in there. The course is easy n u get paid while studing bcos its 90% PRACTICAL but here in uk i find it difficult to progress academically, it has go less opportunities.

ithink u should think first before u go for it and make a lot of research

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veronica in Salt Lake City, Utah

71 months ago

i just wanted to know if any of you would know what classes are required to be taken and training before becoming a dental assistant?

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Jenny in Fort Frances, Ontario

70 months ago

KC in Calgary, Alberta said: In Canada it is illigal for you to work in a dental office unless you have the required 1 year schooling at a dental college. It always shocks me that dentists in the states just hire off the streets and train their own staff from experiance. Personally, I am glad that I learned what I did in school. It makes me much more confident to be working in someone's mouth!! I know I wouldn't want a poorly trained person working in mine!

Actually in Canada it is not illigal for one to work in a dental office who hasnt completed the schooling,they hire people off the streets everyday. I completely disagree with this, i believe it should be mandatory to have your schooling. I am currently working as a Level II Dental Assistant and i am getting paid the same amount of money as the people who were hired off the street. Yes i agree with you when you say i wouldnt want an unskilled person working in my mouth either, so saying this i think it we should be getting paid way more than what we are. We are professionals too and take our jobs seriously. Would like some responses.

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Katerina in Brampton, Ontario

70 months ago

Jenny in Fort- I totally agree with you that assistants are underpaid.
I am currently in school and am very upset at myself for not doing my research on the pay rate before starting this course. I have come to realize that I enjoy dentistry but have been doing extensive research and have read so many horrible experiences regarding Dentists and the way they treat there assistants. I currently work full time now and make more money then a dental assistant would starting off. Absurd! Makes me horribly upset that the Dental Association hasn't been regulating this profession more closely and realized our true worth. I say we sign a petition! :)

Any Dental Assistants please speak your mind I would love to know your thoughts!

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ex dental assistant in Sarasota, Florida

70 months ago

exactly as i said, youve got to weed through the garbage to find a good apple..

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Jenny Phillips in Parry Sound, Ontario

70 months ago

Jenny in Fort Frances, Ontario said: Actually in Canada it is not illigal for one to work in a dental office who hasnt completed the schooling,they hire people off the streets everyday. I completely disagree with this, i believe it should be mandatory to have your schooling. I am currently working as a Level II Dental Assistant and i am getting paid the same amount of money as the people who were hired off the street. Yes i agree with you when you say i wouldnt want an unskilled person working in my mouth either, so saying this i think it we should be getting paid way more than what we are. We are professionals too and take our jobs seriously. Would like some responses.

Is anyone actually paying their ODA membership fees???... Its important that you pay attention to this. This is our funding so we can actually be regulated. This may take a few years but it will happen. Im all for signing a petition. How do we get started because im ready and willing right now!

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vicki culins in Fort Myers, Florida

69 months ago

I am so happy I found this site , I have read many of the comments of Dental assistants ,I was beginning to think I was the only one who had worked for Dentist that was a fruitcake!!! it is a relief to me that I am not the only one who had. This Dentist almost caused me to not ever want to go back to the dental field!!! I hope to return some day to the field for I found it to be rewarding ,but at the same time under paid and deserved to be treated as decent human being ,not as some one who the Dentist deems as a second class citizen which was what my last Da job made me feel , I was hired by this dentist and it was just me and the dentist I felt at times i was in the twilight zone as matter of fact i hope no dental assistant goes thru what I did , I was being reminded of how much better the other dental assistants were that this dentist used to work with and I felt I could never measure up to the staff this dentist was used to working with . Most have said to me why did I stay so long.one I love the dental field and working with people ,I stayed because I thought maybe it was not as bad I thought it was and that these strange treatment of me was just my imagination that this dentist was not as bad as I thought ,however I found out about 6 months after I left that this dentist could not keep staff or Assistants .I was much relieved that all was not my imagination!!!! I hope that some one can work for that Dentist is was not me that could .and it appears not many can .

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Jenny in New Port Richey, Florida

69 months ago

Vicki,

It's not you, it's the dentist! Had the same thing happen to me. Kept going on and on about this great assistant who used to work for him and how smart she was, blah blah blah. Oh, and how she did all that and worked for less than me. Whatever. He couldn't keep any staff around for long either. And they moan and groan about how they can't find good, reliable assistants. Gee, I wonder why?

No one should put up with that kind of abuse. Last doc I worked for accused me of being on drugs or having some sort of mental problem. I have never been so insulted in my whole life.I would have gladly taken a drug test if he had offered to pay for one. Then he said, well, your'e so anxious perhaps you should consider valium. Huh?!? Because of the turmoil I was having trouble sleeping, lost 6 lbs. in 3 months before I finally said to myself, enough.

I did love the profession and miss it, but it's not worth my health and sanity.

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DT in Aldershot, United Kingdom

69 months ago

Do we have any UK qualified Dental Nurses working in the states? I wonder if our qualification(UK qualification) is recognised in USA or do we have to go through some exams before we can work as a Dental Assistant there. I would be thankful if you shared your experience and knowledge.

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MistyBee in Minneapolis, Minnesota

69 months ago

DT in Aldershot, United Kingdom said: Do we have any UK qualified Dental Nurses working in the states? I wonder if our qualification(UK qualification) is recognised in USA or do we have to go through some exams before we can work as a Dental Assistant there. I would be thankful if you shared your experience and knowledge.

A UK Dental Hygienist would probably have to take some courses and the exam to get a USA state certification to work in the USA.

Please tell me if an American Dental Hygienist can work in the UK. I plan on moving to the UK at some point within the next 6yrs or so. I'm taking courses for the Dental Assistant program (1 1/2), then will go for 2yrs Dental Hygiene and then transfer into a Dental Hygiene Bachelor's program for 1 1/2yr. Seems like a long time but I'm sticking it out.

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MistyBee in Minneapolis, Minnesota

69 months ago

I disagree with the person who said go to Nursing School. I spent over 3yrs in school going for Registered Nursing. In the first semester of the Nursing program I realized it's NOT for me. I decided to go for Dental Hygiene but would like to be a Dental Assistant first. So my career in the Dental field begins next week and I'm excited.

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jane in Buffalo, New York

68 months ago

vicki culins in Fort Myers, Florida said: I am so happy I found this site , I have read many of the comments of Dental assistants ,I was beginning to think I was the only one who had worked for Dentist that was a fruitcake!!! it is a relief to me that I am not the only one who had. This Dentist almost caused me to not ever want to go back to the dental field!!! I hope to return some day to the field for I found it to be rewarding ,but at the same time under paid and deserved to be treated as decent human being ,not as some one who the Dentist deems as a second class citizen which was what my last Da job made me feel , I was hired by this dentist and it was just me and the dentist I felt at times i was in the twilight zone as matter of fact i hope no dental assistant goes thru what I did , I was being reminded of how much better the other dental assistants were that this dentist used to work with and I felt I could never measure up to the staff this dentist was used to working with . Most have said to me why did I stay so long.one I love the dental field and working with people ,I stayed because I thought maybe it was not as bad I thought it was and that these strange treatment of me was just my imagination that this dentist was not as bad as I thought ,however I found out about 6 months after I left that this dentist could not keep staff or Assistants .I was much relieved that all was not my imagination!!!! I hope that some one can work for that Dentist is was not me that could .and it appears not many can .

your not the only one who worked for a total pyscho docotr-- i worked for a women dds for litttle over a year and she worked us like we were dogs and she was always calling us into her office seemed like every 5 minutes to tell us she didn;t like the way we walk,talk etc- and i found out that she went thru 8 da;s in 2 years what does that tell you----

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O in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

68 months ago

Katerina in Brampton, Ontario said: Jenny in Fort- I totally agree with you that assistants are underpaid.
I am currently in school and am very upset at myself for not doing my research on the pay rate before starting this course. I have come to realize that I enjoy dentistry but have been doing extensive research and have read so many horrible experiences regarding Dentists and the way they treat there assistants. I currently work full time now and make more money then a dental assistant would starting off. Absurd! Makes me horribly upset that the Dental Association hasn't been regulating this profession more closely and realized our true worth. I say we sign a petition! :)

Any Dental Assistants please speak your mind I would love to know your thoughts!

I totally agree with you that DA are under paid. The Dr I work for treats me like crap and also pays me crap! I love the dental field but wonder if its worth it.

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jane in Buffalo, New York

68 months ago

yes i agree with all the other comments but you have to weed through the drs- i was in the same situation- bad pay- treated lousy etc-but i looked around and found a great dr- he pays me well- paid vacations-decent hours- i was told by other da's that sometimes you have to go through 3 offices or so before you find one that clicks for you-i really don;t understand how some drs can treat their staff this way--perhaps they really don;t enjoy the profession anymore or other things--no one in any profession needs to be treated this way or called names etc-- what does everyone else think-- i was also told you need to go back to school- it wasn;t me it was the dr-- after all- she went through 8 da;s in 2 years-wow!!!

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sierra in Buffalo, New York

68 months ago

i was a dental assistant for a year and a half. i worked in two different offices.

i would not recommend becoming a dental assistant. at the end of the day, no matter how nice your boss is, you are the bottom head on the totem pole. unless you have the disposition of ned flanders this idea will get to you from time to time. you see young hygienists start working at your office and you watch their standard of living improve (new cars, clothes, etc.) while you continue working just as hard for half the pay. eventually i went back to school to become a dental hygienist. i graduated last year and just started working last september. if you can do a few years in school, even if you have to take out loans, become a hygienist instead.

only go for assisting if you are not the main breadwinner.

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sierra in Buffalo, New York

68 months ago

oh yeah, something few people seem to mention is the fact that dental assistants are not considered part of production. that has a lot to do with the way they are looked at in the big picture of the practice. you can argue that all employees, down to the 17 year old new hire front desk girl, are part of "production." but the dentist uses that term in a very specific sense. if no one else showed up to work, the dentist and hygienist could show up, see patients, and generate income. that is what they mean by "production." now, it would be extremely difficult to do it that way, so the dentist hires "support." even the office manager is considered support. i'll bet your hygienist makes a better wage than your office manager. that's because the hygienist's wage is more tangibly comparable to the amount of income they generate for the practice. at the end of the day, all that a person on the "suppport" side can say is, "i helped." a hygienist can say, "i made $1,000--look at my report"

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dana rda, ef415 in Sacramento, California

68 months ago

Billy in Keyport, New Jersey said: I'm looking to make a switch in my career from business to the dental field. I have done a bunch of research as for options and schools, and found dental assistant to be a good start. I also found a school with the program I would need.
How tough is the course with radiology and externship to certification?

But my biggest obstacle seems to be the fact that the profession of Dental Assistant tends to be more female than male. Have you ever come across a guy Dental Assistant in school or in the field? Do you think that the fact that I am a guy would make me less likely to get the job? I'm really concerned about being a employable person, because as a Web Designer, there is just too few jobs and much to much competition!
Anyway, thanks for your time! Sorry about the 20 questions.

This is a great career for men or women. There were three men in my EF class at UCSF in 95. Make sure you sign with a doctor who is accredited with the AACD. These doctors appreciate students who want to be with the best and who can perform. Make sure you let them know you want to take intra oral photos (make sure to learn all you need to about them), also that you can take a face bow correctly (any great doctor will show you how), and that you can take preliminary impressions for preps and mock ups for temps. Make sure you see this as a carreer and not just a job. If you value what you do, you will be valued. Find a doctor who will sponsor you for the EF program at UCLA or UCSF. These doctors want assistants who will shine. Even if they do not need you to perform all EF duties, they will be happy to have an EF in their employnent. IE this means you are "IN IT" and dedicated notjust an asst. The more knowledge the better. It would be ideal to get into any cosmetic institute. I have been to one in Las Vegas and San Francisco...Both are great and are lead by great doctors. Study what makes great doctors great......

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dana RDA, EF415 in Sacramento, California

68 months ago

Tara in Keyport, New Jersey said: Hey Billy,
My sister is a dental assistant, and I too have started my training and there is no guys in my class. Although the profession is not just for girls, you will probably have a harder time locating a job then a female would. This is due to the simple fact that a large percentage of dentists are male, and in order to make patients (especially female patients) feel more comfortable in the chair, it would be preferred to have a female in the room.
I'm pretty sure that male assistants are not frowned upon in the industry, but it is rare. I am brand new to the field, and have no experience, so please, anyone correct me if I’m wrong!

Yeah, you are incorrect! Find elite doctors (doctors who are accredited in the AACD)in the field that want assistants who know there stuff. Make sure you let them know you want to learn to take face-bows and intra oral photography, and prelim impressions for temp mock ups. See it as a carreer. Dont accept showing up in scrubs. Present yourself in a suit, throw on a white lab coat and go to work. Also, ask if you can present treatment plans. Do all that you can. You will be rewarded in an amazing field.

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tiffany in Elizabethtown, Kentucky

68 months ago

Stacey in Denver, Colorado said: I am currently a Cerified Nurse Assistant in a Denver hospital and we make about $12.00/hour.(Thats with 5 years experience mind you!!) So I am looking for a career change and Dental Assisting definitely interests me. However I have not heard of "DANB". Can you please describe that for me?

I AM also a CNA i work for 12 an hour in KY shift dif and four years exsperiance i just graduated DA school very excited However i don't have a job jet however i just graduated today. DANB is Dental assistant national board. If you are thinking of a career change it is good decision no weekends hollidays 9-5 hour lunch no lifting just make sure you scope out the jobs in your area.

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tiffany in Elizabethtown, Kentucky

68 months ago

Billy in Keyport, New Jersey said: I'm looking to make a switch in my career from business to the dental field. I have done a bunch of research as for options and schools, and found dental assistant to be a good start. I also found a school with the program I would need.
How tough is the course with radiology and externship to certification?

But my biggest obstacle seems to be the fact that the profession of Dental Assistant tends to be more female than male. Have you ever come across a guy Dental Assistant in school or in the field? Do you think that the fact that I am a guy would make me less likely to get the job? I'm really concerned about being a employable person, because as a Web Designer, there is just too few jobs and much to much competition!
Anyway, thanks for your time! Sorry about the 20 questions.

I went to school with a male the classes were not hard however i have not went for my EDDA test. I will recieve my diploma. IF you want to take nursing you better be ready for no life study study study!!!!

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moya in Thornton, Illinois

68 months ago

i was thinking of getting into a dental assistant school program in munster, IN. Problem is I don't know if they are certified or not. I really think I would feel more comfortable working the in the dental assisting field because you don't have to deal with anything other than teeth. Believe me with a squeemish stomach like mine, I couldn't imagine being a nurse. Yes of course there will be blood, but it's way better than gunshots, stabbings, car accidents, etc victims. any ideas as to how to tell if this school is legit or not? I've tried looking it up on indiana bbb but they have no report on them. thank you in advance.

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sierra in Buffalo, New York

68 months ago

dental assisting is not a good field for someone with a squeamish stomach.

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Kasandra Knouse in Prineville, Oregon

67 months ago

Hey there, I'm 16 (almost 17), just got my ged and am planning on going to college for a dental assistant cert, and then the next year apply for a dental hygiene program. I'm hoping that will increase chances to get into hygienist school. i live in oregon, and there seems to be quite a few jobs here for assistants, and most of the hygienist jobs require a couple years experience which i would acquire being an assistant while still attending school. ide like to know more of the ups and downs and what you think of your career.
thanks

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vicki in Cape Coral, Florida

67 months ago

It sounds like a good plan to work as a Dental assistant and continue your education for Dental hyg.and this will give you a great opportunity to see if Dental is for you .Dental Assisting is rewarding because you are dealing with peoples needs ,however most dental assistants I know will tell you they are underpaid for what they do but I can only speak for the ones I know because what I have read on this info site there are some Da who make good money .Some of the Dentist you for work will be great others will not be . However again that is with any job you might choose to work .I personally liked being Da ,however the last dentist had way too many anger issues and this made my job very difficult,Dentist ,I have found are just human beings who have to deal with pat, that some times are not pleasant ,and dentist have to deliver treatments that can be over whelming to Pt to hear and that is only because the pt went to long and the tooth developed more treatment to the tooth,and to spite what most people think a dentist number one priority is maintain the best care for your teeth ,dont think me naive here there are dentist that do want just the money but they are far and few between ,for every dentist I worked for Cared only for the health of the teeth .
I hope the best for you .
Vicki

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cinzabon in Manchester, New Hampshire

67 months ago

Tasha in Jacksonville, Florida said: No because I went to school for with a male and I know of a male that has been an assistant for years.

DON'T DO IT ! i've been a dental assistant for over 25 years and the pay has actually decreased in the field because the schools are pumping out too many dental assistants and due to the economy the dentists have reduced their assistant staff. also there are NO JOBS out there, and when there is an ad for one they get so many replies and resumes that they don't even bother to call them all back. as for the pay...average is around 17.00 per hour with ample experience. i know many dental assistants and none of them are making over 21.00 per hour with decades of experience behind them. i'm sure that there are 20 special positions over the whole usa that are paying more than that would be the EXCEPTION. i don't mean to discourage anyone, but unless there is a shortage in some small particular area of the usa....
from the trend that i am seeing you would be much better off to go for MEDICAL ASSISTANT....or anything else medical...it's a much bigger field of possibilities.

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jingjing lin in Scarborough, Ontario

67 months ago

what does medical assistant do?

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RDA in San Leandro, California

67 months ago

Licensed Vocational Nurses and Registered Nurses are always needed.

I see a lot of DA positions open in California, but there limited in pay and benefits. And these schools around here are turning out new dental assistants faster then jobs are opening up. So the competition if fierce for the jobs that are open, even though there not all that to begin with.

If I was able I would go back into nursing, but since I hurt my back it's impossible. But it was a wonderful career, I never had to worry about anything. DA may work for some, but not for all. I feel like no advancement in DA unless you go back to school.

And there are men in this field, there is one in the orthodontist office my daughter goes to and also at her general dentist office they have a couple DA's. But I also met quiet a few male nurses,who are so needed as well. Good luck whatever you've chosen, I see time has past so you may have completed a program.

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RDA in San Leandro, California

67 months ago

Billy in Keyport, New Jersey said: I'm looking to make a switch in my career from business to the dental field. I have done a bunch of research as for options and schools, and found dental assistant to be a good start. I also found a school with the program I would need.
How tough is the course with radiology and externship to certification?

But my biggest obstacle seems to be the fact that the profession of Dental Assistant tends to be more female than male. Have you ever come across a guy Dental Assistant in school or in the field? Do you think that the fact that I am a guy would make me less likely to get the job? I'm really concerned about being a employable person, because as a Web Designer, there is just too few jobs and much to much competition!
Anyway, thanks for your time! Sorry about the 20 questions.

Billy did you start your DA program and finish?

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kathy in WI in Bellevue, Michigan

67 months ago

ssnva1 in Richmond, Virginia said: Go to nursing school!!!!!!! Thats what I am doing. There is no advancement in assisting unless you go back to school for hygiene...which pays great if you wanna clean teeth all day. Also very little advancement! NURSING SCHOOL is the way to go!

I agree! There are so many areas you can get into with just a 2 year nursing program, and the pay and advancement is sooooo much better! I have about 10 years of DA experience and have worked for 5 different doctors in the Fox Valley area, WI and further up north areas. 4 out of the 5 were very hard to work for, and from what I have seen on this website, the pay range in my area appears to be much much lower then some of the other states, ranging from $8-$11 is what I'm seeing in the Fox Valley area. Not sure why, perhaps there are more DA programs in this area? Many of the single Dr. practices are not even offering any benefits! Also, when your dentist is ready to retire, you will need to look for another job and start all over. I would seriously look at what the pay is in your area before going into DA. I'm almost 50yrs old and very seriously considering going back to school for something in the Medical field. Something that is not only recession proof, but also with good pay, benefits and a variety of job options; much more secure and stable. After all, unless you plan on retiring early and can afford it, we have many years to work in our lives to receive max. SSI. Just my opinion.

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KC in Calgary, Alberta

67 months ago

I it is so sad to hear that so many assistants are not getting the pay they deserve. Here in Calgary Canada, assistants can expect anywhere from $25 - $35 an hour depending on experiance and if they work in a speciality.

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niki in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

67 months ago

i would like to know what the average hourly pay is for a dental assistant with no experience that will be trained on the job and if being trained on the job will allow me to be certified and also be able to do x rays and lab? what do hyginist make? and what are the requirements to go to hygeine school?

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RDA in San Leandro, California

67 months ago

From my experiene when going to the doctor and MA's I've worked near and with in the past. And my intereractions with Medical Assistants and obervations is they take blood pressures, and all other vitals, chart care given and patient symptoms, they are also trained to draw blood and can give injections in some States. Perfrom front office dutes such as billing and insurance, a lot of their duties are similar to a Licensed nurse but with a lot of administrative duties added. Although where you live will make these duties and salary vary greatly. And I notice in California a lot of MA's go to school and compalin they never can get a job, because employer's asking for multiple years of experience. But at the same time I've met others who were able to luck into a job right out of school.

So it's a lesson to really do your research before getting into any program.

My friend finished a medical coder program in Texas about six monthes ago. She has no experience in the medical field at all, but she just landed a job at a local hospital as a medical coder. A lot of it has to do with the fact her instructor recommended her to the hospital. So a lot of times it's who you know and can recommend you, I know that doesn't sound fair for most of us but it's the truth.

Good luck everyone :O) Stay positive :O)

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RDA in San Leandro, California

67 months ago

Kasandra Knouse in Prineville, Oregon said: Hey there, I'm 16 (almost 17), just got my ged and am planning on going to college for a dental assistant cert, and then the next year apply for a dental hygiene program. I'm hoping that will increase chances to get into hygienist school. i live in oregon, and there seems to be quite a few jobs here for assistants, and most of the hygienist jobs require a couple years experience which i would acquire being an assistant while still attending school. ide like to know more of the ups and downs and what you think of your career.
thanks

You have a good plan, but if I was young as you I would cut out the middle man being dental assisting and go straight into hygiene school. Because your young you have time, so why go into DA which may very well discourage you and not give you time for hygiene school. I would find another flexible job that I could do around hygiene school, and just go straight for hygiene. Good luck and keep positive no matter what you decide :O)

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VOLCOMBOB5 in Saco, Maine

67 months ago

hi. I am in dental assisting school and there is one guy in my class. and i dont think it will make you less employable. he is smart and i think he will have no problem getting a job. he was a cna med tech. good luck!!!!

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dentalofficespace in Fairfax, Virginia

66 months ago

vicki culins in Fort Myers, Florida said: I am so happy I found this site , I have read many of the comments of Dental assistants ,I was beginning to think I was the only one who had worked for Dentist that was a fruitcake!!! it is a relief to me that I am not the only one who had. This Dentist almost caused me to not ever want to go back to the dental field!!! I hope to return some day to the field for I found it to be rewarding ,but at the same time under paid and deserved to be treated as decent human being ,not as some one who the Dentist deems as a second class citizen which was what my last Da job made me feel , I was hired by this dentist and it was just me and the dentist I felt at times i was in the twilight zone as matter of fact i hope no dental assistant goes thru what I did , I was being reminded of how much better the other dental assistants were that this dentist used to work with and I felt I could never measure up to the staff this dentist was used to working with . Most have said to me why did I stay so long.one I love the dental field and working with people ,I stayed because I thought maybe it was not as bad I thought it was and that these strange treatment of me was just my imagination that this dentist was not as bad as I thought ,however I found out about 6 months after I left that this dentist could not keep staff or Assistants .I was much relieved that all was not my imagination!!!! I hope that some one can work for that Dentist is was not me that could .and it appears not many can .

I found this site after I went to lunch today and the hygienist and I complained about our boss for a solid 45 minutes. I thought, "Surely, there must be a blog or something out there were assistants can vent!" and only found this forum. Of course, I got a lot of sites about how to complain *about* an assistant and the blogs were more like free advertising for these cheap-a*s dentists!

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vicki in Fort Myers, Florida

66 months ago

I am so glad you found this site , it is one of the best I have found.I too found to many sites that were not what I needed they were more often than not more for promotion of just getting into the field instead of what the reality of what a Da's goes thru .For any da to have a co-worker they can trust is very fortunate indeed however some da's are not fortunate enough to have co-worker's they can truly confide in and one they can trust in the office when you need to talk to some one who understands and knows the person you speak of .Sometimes a good venting is all we need and other times it time to move on from our jobs ,the saddest part for me was that I found out was we Da do a lot work and most according to the Das I know are underpaid as I was myself .thou I understand from this web site there are some who are paid well and treated with respect and dignity and every one us deserve to be treated with respect and dignity .I often felt if Dentist treated there Da's with respect and dignity and paid them well they would have much more smoother run atmosphere,however the reality is the Dental world is it has it good days and it bad days,oh how I would loved to have this web site to be able to vent to .I feel some body out there would have understood what I was going thru .I hope you continue to use this web site .

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dentalofficespace in Fairfax, Virginia

66 months ago

vicki in Fort Myers, Florida said: I am so glad you found this site , it is one of the best I have found.I too found to many sites that were not what I needed they were more often than not more for promotion of just getting into the field instead of what the reality of what a Da's goes thru .For any da to have a co-worker they can trust is very fortunate indeed however some da's are not fortunate enough to have co-worker's they can truly confide in and one they can trust in the office when you need to talk to some one who understands and knows the person you speak of .Sometimes a good venting is all we need and other times it time to move on from our jobs ,the saddest part for me was that I found out was we Da do a lot work and most according to the Das I know are underpaid as I was myself .thou I understand from this web site there are some who are paid well and treated with respect and dignity and every one us deserve to be treated with respect and dignity .I often felt if Dentist treated there Da's with respect and dignity and paid them well they would have much more smoother run atmosphere,however the reality is the Dental world is it has it good days and it bad days,oh how I would loved to have this web site to be able to vent to .I feel some body out there would have understood what I was going thru .I hope you continue to use this web site .

You are so true. The Dental World is very small and it's hard to trust someone. I don't understand this backstabbing that goes on when we are all frustrated with the same boss! It doesn't make sense to me. I will keep using the site! Thank you! Email me at erin.reiko@gmail.com and I will send you a link to my blog. Tada!

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dsr in San Rafael, California

66 months ago

I have found that the doctors who treat the staff poorly are smug, unhappy little --- men/women.
They are down because instead of curing cancer or helping with some amazing research, they are stuck doing a two surface comp filling. More likely a amalgum filling, because the guys that are usually worth working for actually do GOOD dentistry.
I have worked with doctors who love what they do. Top notch dentistry. They are the best at what they do. And they realize they could not do the 30k case of veneers without you.

Don't ever undervalue yourself and settle. EVER!
I hope you find an office you love.
d-rda,ef

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jane in Buffalo, New York

66 months ago

you guys are so so right about fruitcake doctors-- i also had that experience- just about everyday we got dragged into her office for aome infraction that was totally ridiculous- it made my head spin- her 20 something spy was the big troulbe maker in the office- she was constantly hanging over you- on her dya soff or when she wasn;t there is was heaven-- well after about a year i had enough of that garbage and got into a private office just me the doctor the hygienst and reception and let me tell you it is absolute heaven-- no drama- none of that nonsense going on- we all get along so well-i find myself wanting to go to work everyday not like before and to boot i got a huge raise and christmas bonus all in the same week- glas i laeft the circus of working for a large group practice for a small private one--

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jane in Buffalo, New York

66 months ago

i don;t understand it either all the pettiness the backstabbing etc--this one or that one running into the docs office to tell on you- come on- thoought we were grown ups here well some of us- i worked in an office like that for about a year- had enough of that- and to boot the doctor was even one og the instigator sometimes- like talking about this one or that one- i was like hello-this is a professional office not grade school-- glad i left and the other comments are true i could not trust anyone-they were all i think bipolawith there mood swings i was like good bye and good luck to the next da;s!!

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jane in Buffalo, New York

66 months ago

here's what i don't get-- say the doctor keeps telling everyone over and over that this is the best staff i have ever have- hard workers- filling up the schedule-working extra etc etc- you get the picture but then in the next breath they are saying if i didn;t see the potential in you then you would have been long gone-crabbing about about every little idiotic thing-and i mean pure nonsense stuff--calling everyone in the office to crab at us for stupid stuff- then goes back to the greatest crew speech- and the kicker when they give you a review and say well i;m only going to give you a 20 cent raise because you really didn;t to anything to make my head flip back--what the hech is that garbage all about-- happened to me so i left and found a great office and no drama !!

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