Dental or Medical Assistant?

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Comments (9)

Claudine15 in Los Angeles, California

54 months ago

I was a medical assistant for 5 years, the most I ever made was $12.50. The last time I worked in a med office was 3 years ago. So now I've been trying to get a job as a med assistant but it seems I can't because although I have experience, it's not recent experience. So I'm wondering....should I go back to school and take a med assistant refresher course or should I go in to the dental assistant field? It seems like they make more money but I don't know if I should just stick to what I know.

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Smileysuzie in redwing, Minnesota

54 months ago

Jeanie in Salida, California said: I too have been going back and forth, trying to decide. If I do medical assisting, I'd like to eventually go back to school to get my RN. If dental assisting, then go back later for hygentist.

I'm leaning toward dental. Let me know how things are going for you. Maybe we can help each other.

Shouldn't it be about what you love or have a passion/desire to do? I guess I dont understand that since I always KNEW dentistry was for me no matter what. Do you even have an "interest" or curiosity about it? if not , you probably won't work out.

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Smileysuzie in redwing, Minnesota

54 months ago

Jeanie in Salida, California said: Obviously, I have an interest in it. Not everyone has known exactly what they wanted to do as a career from the beginning, like you. Actually, most people don't know until later.

Some actual input about the field would be helpful. Speculation about the length of time that I've been interested in the field, not so much.

I will tell you everything you would like to know- shoot me as many questions as you like. I've been in the field "ages" let's say.

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collegegirl209 in Modesto, California

54 months ago

@Smileysuzie - Thanks. I appreciate your input. :-)
My main question(s) right now, is if there is a lot of opportunities to move up, like becoming an expanded function DA. Did you do that? Why or why not?

My other hesitation is if it will be relatively easy to find work once I graduate. I do have a friend that found work here in Modesto and I'm probably worrying too much. Lol.

I don't mean to sound flakey when bringing up Medical Assisting v. Dental Assisting. I'm just 39 already and kinda panicking about finding a field that I can find work in right away after graduating. Honestly, I have a lot of interest in dental AND med asst./nursing. Just gathering opinions right now from people working in the fields, like you. :-)

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Smileysuzie in redwing, Minnesota

54 months ago

collegegirl209 in Modesto, California said: @Smileysuzie - Thanks. I appreciate your input. :-)
My main question(s) right now, is if there is a lot of opportunities to move up, like becoming an expanded function DA. Did you do that? Why or why not?

My other hesitation is if it will be relatively easy to find work once I graduate. I do have a friend that found work here in Modesto and I'm probably worrying too much. Lol.

I don't mean to sound flakey when bringing up Medical Assisting v. Dental Assisting. I'm just 39 already and kinda panicking about finding a field that I can find work in right away after graduating. Honestly, I have a lot of interest in dental AND med asst./nursing. Just gathering opinions right now from people working in the fields, like you. :-)

I am not expanded function , there was never a need for that in the state(s) I worked. Though, I can do and have done many procedures. If your state allows, I would for sure pursue that if I were new or starting out.
This economy is proving hard to find jobs in any field. Make sure that you find a good office to do your externship. If the office is too big or busy they may not have the time to train you as necessary for critical experience.
You will notice assistants are younger than you. There are many reasons for that . One being they go right into the field after hs. Also it can be a physically and emotionally draining job. Most people get out after 10/15 yrs for good because it is hard on their back or you become older and can't tolerate the bad attitude of the dds. (common) Not everyone , but many... Women also leave due to babies and kids.
The field is high turnover .

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Just help:) in Clay, West Virginia

20 months ago

Hi
I found your conversation very interesting. I was wondering what you decided to do. I am considering the same only the other way around I am a 30 year old dental assistant with expanded f and ortho certified too. Considering medical assisting, I have actually enrolled. No kidding about the hard on the back part lol. And I love dentistry! I also love patients I love helping them, listening to they're stories, and getting them through the appt. I also love learning about new things and the office settings. So I hope that I can give this a try it seems to be high pay in my area and more job openings so here I go. And if you decided to try out the dental world I hope it is going great for you !

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billabong in Chandler, Arizona

15 months ago

I just recently started my dental class and I am not sure if I like it that much. I don't like the kind of things that you have to memorize like the tools and burrs and all that stuff or maybe it has more to do with the teacher because she does not teach very well and there are some students that are almost done with the class and I think they should know a lot more then what they do and I don't want to be at that point when I get close to finishing up. I am now thinking about changing and trying out the medical assisting class because I think it mtght be better for me and I also have better friends in that class and its good to have friends that help eachother out. I am very confused trying to figure this out, I don't know which one I have a passion for yet but does anyone know which one is easier to learn, medical or dental.

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billabong in Chandler, Arizona

15 months ago

oh yeah plus I think there is better opportunity for me in med assistant then dental because I think I might want to take it higher and become a nurse or something like that but I would love to have other peoples opinions on this especially someone who is familiar with this kind of stuff, thank you guys very much.

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Amanda Smith in Erlanger, Kentucky

15 months ago

Ok so I worked in a dental office for 4 months. When I first started I was straight out of school. However I was very confident because I'm really good at catching on to things quickly. Well at least I thought so until I started working at this office. This office did everything under the moon. It was ok because I like a challenge. So I was kinda pushed out there with very little training.Now at this office there are girls from a small town that went to school together like 5, the others are groups of girls that again knew each other before starting at this office. I had a small problem with one of the girls and it went down hill from there. The office manager said that she would like to exstend my 90 days because she didin't feel as if I was where I needed to be after 90 days. I asked what did I need to work on. I was given a list of things to work on. This office Isn't your typical office, the DA's are also responsible for the dentist notes as well. I made sure I fixed everything on the list. Then I asked the head asst if I was doing ok and she said I was doing fine. Even the dentist there would tell me how well I was doing. This office had about seven dentist. I would make sure to have anything the dentist may need out and ready to go. I would even run 3 and 4 rooms at a time while the other DA's set around talking. The head DA included. With all that said I was called in the office 1 day before my PB period was over just to be told it's not working. Wow.... what a joke! Funny thing was the same lead asst set right there with the office manager shaking her head in agreement. That was some nerve, when I had been asking her the whole time if I needed to improve on anything. I honestly feel as if they really didn't want me there any way. They even told me at one time I was too nice! I loved my patients and assisting with (some of the dentist)It's almost Christmas and I have no job! Did I get into the wrong career?

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