Unappreciated Assistants?

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Dumbledorf in Hayward, California

74 months ago

It seems more of us are disgusted at the moment. How many fellow assitants have been fired recently who have been in the profession for what I call B.S. reasons?. If your middle aged with experience look out, the younger ones will work cheaper, but have poor attendence.

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Old Ass't in Barrie, Ontario

74 months ago

So we know we are frustrated, but what did work? Do we have solutions?

Here's one Solution: I worked in one office where the receptionist and assistant had to switched places every two weeks. The DDS was quite open about it, he felt that this provided a nice change for everyone's mental health, and this way he knew he would never be stuck without a qualified experienced employee in his office should someone be sick or leave. I don't know if every two weeks is necessary, but once a month is probably great. It also helps to lesson the problem of Diva's forming and keep everyone on the same page about the needs of the office.

Young vs Old: I also once worked for a wonderful DDS who was approaching 80 years of age. He was amazing. His work was impecable, his mind sharp, and he was most of all, patient with me as a 19 year old grad who had just moved very far away from home and was living on my own. His receptionist had worked for him since forever and they got along great. Because of his age and eastern European background I got to assist many times with gold fillings - very cool especially since he always carved in the fisures/anatomy and burnished it till it shined. He also had the old style drill which was like a giant arm which he could work with equal skill to the new equipment. Very interesting fellow he was. But the bottom line is that he was the few DDS's whose gonads did not interfere with the office. He was settled in his life. It was nice just doing the work together. The others who were easy to work for were of course men who were happily married. Seeing pictures of family around the office would probably be another positive thing to look for when on an interview.

Old Asst

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Old Ass't in Barrie, Ontario

74 months ago

Ann in Victoria, British Columbia said: I'm so happy I can now say "Take This Job and Shove It!"
I am leaving and never coming back.

How long were you an Asst Ann?

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di in Wyckoff, New Jersey

74 months ago

We had tried to have the switching places in the office with the front desk person, but she tended to ignore staff who would switch off and become a "diva" in a matter of minutes...she would not put items back in the appropriate places, making it difficult to perform your job when it was your turn again...her answer when confronted was always..."well that is where it always had been" She had been the assitant in the office over 20 years ago and could not handle it...frankly, she just could not make up her mind as to wheather she wanted to work in the front or back...and if you told her something out of "advise" she would walk off in a "huff"...She also has mental issues..with the doctors and being the "it" person if you understand what i mean...she also has a history of "hair pulling" as riduculous as it sounds,she literally pulled her hair out! not in front of anyone, but she would come in with such thinning hair and patches missing..patients were starting to ask if she was on Chemotherapy or something...she was also very jealous of other womean no matter who they were, what they looked like etc...in any case after 16 years of dealing with that personality off and on I had enough...I'm so glad I am outta there!
It would be nice if the doctors paid more attention to the problems with employees in the office and many of them need office managers to resolve the issues and get rid of the dead weight..I believe over the years this woman has and probably still is the common denomiator in the office running so badly as far as keeping any good staff..i left because my former employer retired and and the "new" boss does not have a clue how to treat staff, run an office etc..and I'm real tired of hearing how they are not trained to do so...maybe they should take a course...since they are taking so many others..or hire someone who can deal with staff so they can roll in the $$$$. Staff who do not get along can really damage a practice...

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di in Wyckoff, New Jersey

74 months ago

Dumbledorf in Hayward, California said: It seems more of us are disgusted at the moment. How many fellow assitants have been fired recently who have been in the profession for what I call B.S. reasons?. If your middle aged with experience look out, the younger ones will work cheaper, but have poor attendence.

not only will the young ones work cheaper,the docs know they are "oblivous" to pretty much everything...the minute the show some "know how"and start dealing with the rest of the staff that are "whaco" and they ask for there first raise..then the docs real attitudes show...as in...I guess your like the rest of the staff. what docs don't realize is staff do talk to each other when they are not around..that whole office politics thing is what gets people discusted, frustrated, etc...one job i saw in the internet actually said in the description...no gossiping... i could not believe it! but i guess enough has occurred there that it needed to be advertised!

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ADN in Wichita, Kansas

74 months ago

You know after reading all these posts and replies it's really sad to me that a lot of them have has bad experiences. My father is a dentist. I started working for him when I was 15 years old as an assistant. I did everything from X-rays to sterilization. It was a great job. He had a great staff. I totally agree with some of the other replies that said it totally depends on what Doctor you work for. My dad had 25 years in military as a dentist and as an officer. Perhaps that may have helped him with various aspects of the profession I'm sure. He's a great dentist who cares about the patient more than the money. I talk to him every night about how he loves his job. Not all days are super, but he still likes what he does. I agree that there are doctors here locally that aren't very kind to their staff. But my advice to those who do have problems with the doctor they work for is to have an office meeting or huddle and discuss the issues or private meeting to resolve or address concerns. I would even go so far as to lay out the expectations as you the assistant expect from the doctor and staff and what the doctor can expect from you. But frankly speaking if you are not good at being an assistant;slow, don't catch on fast, no organization skills, not proactive; being an assistant probably is not for you. My dad has had the same assistants in his office since he opened 8 years ago. Anyway, i hope this gives a different view to anyone who's looking this up. You assistants work hard. Keep it up.

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MA1 in Wyckoff, New Jersey

74 months ago

Well, it is refreshing to see someone did well in this field. My former employer was an Oral Surgeon for 30 years. I worked for him for 14 of those years. He was wonderful to work for, then he retired and hired someone who had not has his own anything, practice, staff etc...when he came on board as part employer/partner he was charming...as soon as my boss signed the practice over to him he suddenly wanted employee contracts to be signed, he did not treat us well thought we made too much money *how can you in this field* and wanted to cut our health insurance to a cheaper one etc....in any case i lasted 1 1/2 years before i gave up...i went from i loved my job, to i can't take it anymore..i was overworked, not given a raise since by former employer took him on, not even to equal the cost of living!
I decided that i was not going to stay in such misery any longer...I am now looking into the Medical Assisting field...It is a change and their are new areas in med field to learn...i like working with people and i do miss the interaction with patients...and some staff...I've been unemployed since sept of 07 and still looking for work on a part-time basis. The oral surgery field is not as needed as the general dentistry field in the job arena...I am tired of working in this area all day, part time would be nice...and i can attend school at night...
I think it is great your dad had the education of being in the military first i think it makes a big difference the dicipline is there, believe me some/many of these doctors should start out in the military then they would not have so many problems with staff, and would appreciate how hard they can and will work when compensated appropriately.
Nice to see your comment! : )
MA1

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Ann in Victoria, British Columbia

74 months ago

Old Ass't in Barrie, Ontario said: How long were you an Asst Ann?

I was an assistant for 8 years

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Old Ass't in Barrie, Ontario

74 months ago

ADN in Wichita, Kansas said: You know after reading all these posts and replies it's really sad to me that a lot of them have has bad experiences. My father is a dentist. I started working for him when I was 15 years old as an assistant. I did everything from X-rays to sterilization. It was a great job. He had a great staff. I totally agree with some of the other replies that said it totally depends on what Doctor you work for. My dad had 25 years in military as a dentist and as an officer. Perhaps that may have helped him with various aspects of the profession I'm sure. He's a great dentist who cares about the patient more than the money. I talk to him every night about how he loves his job. Not all days are super, but he still likes what he does. I agree that there are doctors here locally that aren't very kind to their staff. But my advice to those who do have problems with the doctor they work for is to have an office meeting or huddle and discuss the issues or private meeting to resolve or address concerns. I would even go so far as to lay out the expectations as you the assistant expect from the doctor and staff and what the doctor can expect from you. But frankly speaking if you are not good at being an assistant;slow, don't catch on fast, no organization skills, not proactive; being an assistant probably is not for you. My dad has had the same assistants in his office since he opened 8 years ago. Anyway, i hope this gives a different view to anyone who's looking this up. You assistants work hard. Keep it up.

I'm happy for you that you have such a wonderful relationship with your father. Without doubt his military training helped him learn management skills. He learned the meaning of team work and has passed it on to you.

It's a gift, cherish it.

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Monica in Coppell, Texas

74 months ago

I have been a dental assistant for 22 years, I have hated it for about 21! I have always loved my patients and love educating them and comforting them when they are in the chair. I have not yet worked for a dentist that has integrity and the ethics to do good dentistry and treat the patients and his employees fairly. I feel that I am extremely under paid for my knowledge and experience and definitley under appreciated. I know this is a trend for dentist to overwork and under pay their assistants. I have never understood this practice since we are the ones that keep him running and the $$$ coming in. My Dr. couldn't set up and do a procedure without me and he has been practicing for 38 years, go figure. I live and work in Dalls, Tx and made 57K this year. I have been trying to find out what assistants make in Nashville, Tenn because I plan to move there late 2009. If anyone has this info it will be appreciated. Searching online I keep seeing the 30K-35K range popping up for the average, this is not near enough for a person to live on in any city and definitley not enough for all the unfairness I know all assistants put up with. I know that every office I have ever been in is the same and we assistants always have to do the majority of the work for the least pay! I don't get it after 22 yrs, someone explain please why we are so under appreciated but so crucial to the operation of any successful practice!!! I would recommend anyone who is thinking about dentistry, go straight to Hyg. school and skip the torture of being an assistant. Hygienist make about $350 aday on average in Dallas and more if your practice has you sell product. Hyg. could work 3 days a week and make what I do in 4 days.

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new grad in Penticton, British Columbia

74 months ago

I am sooooo happy to see that so many others feel how I feel! I thought I was just going nuts for no reason, overthinking things....
I just graduated in June 2008... I have yet to find a proper job!! I have had one job offer so I took it being as desperate as I was, to only find that everyone had pretty much quit the day before, it was HELL! I felt so frustrated by the fact that I would give my all, and just get nothing in return!! I had to leave the office because I was working 10 hour days with no brakes, and then at night I couldn't sleep because I was so wound up from the chaotic day! I come from a small town where there are like 20 dentists... and finding a job is damn near impossible.... I don't know how long I can handle being jobless, or how long I can take being mistreated!!

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Old Ass't in Barrie, Ontario

74 months ago

To the Asst in Pentictin,

I'm so sorry you are being mistreated. No breaks sounds like a labour board issue. The old dentist whom I worked for didn't believe in multiple chairs, he valued his sanity, his staff and reputation. He felt only one chair with a second strictly for emergencies or hygiene was all that was need to run an office. He was shocked at the greed which was clearly motivating the move away from the traditional office set up.

He rightly believed that the only way for multiple chairs to work was to hire a separate asst for each room, that way she would be able to do her work properly, otherwise how does one run back and forth from room to room every day? They don't - and neither can the DDS, that's one of the reasons why so many Asst's are telling the story we hear on this website.

The fast paced office creates strife for all. To function properly the office needs longer treatment times to prevent running - it's degrading and such rushing means the job will never get don't correctly - the Asst will never be able to focus on the task at hand because she will be worried about what she has to rush to next. She will become jumpy, neurotic, depressed. It's like constantly being yelled at. There should be desigated office cleaning times, enough instruments to sufficently run an office, proper sterilization tools, designated lunches/ breaks that are all respected, separate eating areas that have a door, offices which continually double book appointments are not being run properly. Over time needs to be tracked and paid accordingly. An office that continually has overtime is not being run properly. An office that has 10 hour days every day for the Asst is not being run properly.

I've put all these things in to warn the new Asst but also hopefully, there might be a dentist out there who reads it and makes the needed changes.

Old Asst

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Monica in Coppell, Texas

74 months ago

To the new Grad in Penticton,

First I must tell you that British Columbia in my opionion is the most beautiful place on this planet! I have visited Vancouver and Victoria several times and if I could choose any place in the world to live it would be there!
Now back to assisting. Not all dentist are horrible but the good ones are few and far between. I have found in my 22 years that the older/longer practicing dentists are the worst. I think along the way they forget about ethics and integrity, doing right by the patient and their hard working staff and are more focused on lining their own pockets and thinking about retiring. If you can find a new dentist, one that isn't so corrupted by the all mighty dollar yet, you might have a chance to see some good dentistry and work with someone who still thinks the reason he went into dentistry is to do some good. The pay is never going to be slose to compensating the hard work you put forth, but working for someone who recognizes the hard work and appreciates it is better than the ones who work you to death and still yell at you. I would suggest seriously if you want to remain in this field long term to really consider going to Hyg. school. They are much more appreciated ( not relly sure why )the degree I guess, and they make sooo much more money that you can make a decent living on your own with a Hyg. salary. Also, they don't have to work so closely with the dentist. My best friend is a Hyg. that I have worked with for 7 yrs. and she can't stand all of the grief I take for the salary I make. She see's that she is respected more fore doing less work and it is mind boggling to her. I think they must teach these Dentist this in school. I do know that in The USA, they do not teach them business or money managing skills. Know your worth, do not let anyone tell you that you are not worthy and do your research. Know what other offices pay in your area or consider going to a more metropolitian area. Just hang in there!!!!

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new grad in Penticton, British Columbia

74 months ago

Thanks for the reply's Texas and Ontario! I have considered Hygiene school, but I just think it would be so boring cleaning people's teeth everyday, Im sure I will consider it again in the future, but I really do want to consider giving assisting a try.
As for the fact of finding a new dentist to work for, that is a very strong goal of mine, because I think being a new grad and finding a new and younger dentist we can both learn together and grown together instead of belittling eachother. There are actually quite a few new grad dentists in town, and hopefully when the economy picks up I can get into one of their offices!!
I guess I will have to face the harsh reality of life, that a job is a job, there are days where you will love it, there are days where you will hate it, but you got to keep your chin up because that's why you get weekends and vacations for, to put your worries behind you and spend time with the people you love!!!!

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Leigh in Oshawa, Ontario

74 months ago

Wow! I was a dental assistant for three years. I was overworked, underpaid and not vauled at all as a human. As a single mom I worked two jobs while in school thinking this is what I wanted. I ended up with gallstones due to the stress and bad eating habits from never getting a break on a 12hr shift. It upsets me that I spent so much time and money on this. Once I get my self esteem back i'll be looking for a new career.

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Jane in Victoria, British Columbia

74 months ago

Leigh in Oshawa, Ontario said: Wow! I was a dental assistant for three years. I was overworked, underpaid and not vauled at all as a human. As a single mom I worked two jobs while in school thinking this is what I wanted. I ended up with gallstones due to the stress and bad eating habits from never getting a break on a 12hr shift. It upsets me that I spent so much time and money on this. Once I get my self esteem back i'll be looking for a new career.

I completely understand you. Because of my career of being a dental assistant, I lost my self esteem, became obese and unhealthy from bad eating habits
(this was probably from insufficient breaks during 10 hr days, and emotional/stress eating), herniated a disc in my lower back, and suffered stomach problems
and hair loss from stress. Now I am on the mend, and will be starting school soon for another career.
I hope we both will have more success in our new careers ahead.

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sumtoy@sympatico.ca in Toronto, Ontario

74 months ago

Someone just told me a story about an assistant/receptionist who was so stressed out it caused her to have her gall bladder removed. She sued the dentist and won $250,000. "Lucky" her. I could retire on that now.....

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Old Asst in Barrie in Barrie, Ontario

74 months ago

sumtoy@sympatico.ca in Toronto, Ontario said: Someone just told me a story about an assistant/receptionist who was so stressed out it caused her to have her gall bladder removed. She sued the dentist and won $250,000. "Lucky" her. I could retire on that now.....

This one sounds like an urban legend. If there is any truth to it, I would think the individual had gallbladder problems that the dentist somehow interefered with ie: the dentist firing her for not being able to be at work during an attack or after the operation.

However, I did work for one month for two dentists in Toronto whose receptionist had a bladder infection (documented with md letter and anitbiotics on her desk). Unfortunately, she also had a heavy period at the same time. The would not let her go to the washroom without asking permission first and at times even told her she could wait until after she answered the phone (I heard them do it). Since she had an infection and had to uninate frequently it was humiliating.

Having to ask to go to the washroom was a rule that was for everyone. They wouldn't lift it temporarily for her. I didn't last there, I didn't want to work at a place where my bodily functions were tracked. It was creepy.

Hey...maybe it was them....?????

Old Asst.

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MA1 in MAHWAH, New Jersey

73 months ago

sumtoy@sympatico.ca in Toronto, Ontario said: Someone just told me a story about an assistant/receptionist who was so stressed out it caused her to have her gall bladder removed. She sued the dentist and won $250,000. "Lucky" her. I could retire on that now.....

hi,
i know you posted this awhile ago, but how could stress be related to a gallbladder problem,,i had mine removed when i was 21, i had a normal weight and a baby before it was removed...she related it to work (or her attorney convinced someone) how is that?? sounds really phoney to me! no wonder why our medical insurance is so high. UNREAL!
MA1

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Run Run Run in Calgary, Alberta

73 months ago

I've been a dental assistant for a very long time. I would not recommend it to any woman. Do not invest your educational money in this job - it is definately not a profession that is given any respect. You will be treated horribly and will go from job to job.
Spend your money only a a profession that you will have job security, where labor standards are followed and where the employer will give you job security and a pension. I have friends that choose other professions and they are ready to retire with a good pension. Myself well I have to go back to school and start all over again.

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MA1 in Wyckoff, New Jersey

73 months ago

Hi,
I understand the being treated horribly factor. I left my former job because of that reason..Didn't want to pay what I was worth...Now i understand after 2 years he hasn't been able to replace me yet...I'm sure he is going through assistants as fast as rain drops..too bad buddy...you have to appreciate and pay your staff well if you want to keep them!
That is it.....
MA1

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Old Asst in Barrie, Ontario

73 months ago

Run Run Run in Calgary, Alberta said: I've been a dental assistant for a very long time. I would not recommend it to any woman. Do not invest your educational money in this job - it is definately not a profession that is given any respect. You will be treated horribly and will go from job to job.
Spend your money only a a profession that you will have job security, where labor standards are followed and where the employer will give you job security and a pension. I have friends that choose other professions and they are ready to retire with a good pension. Myself well I have to go back to school and start all over again.

If I had to do it all over again, I would consider being an Assistant BUT for the Armed Forces where I would be protected, get a pension, etc....

Old Asst

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grays in San Antonio, Texas

73 months ago

So....S I C K....of this Damn Profession!!!!!!!!!!Get out while you can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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eeyore in Boise, Idaho

72 months ago

Wow! After reading all your comments about Dental Assisting I'm seriously considering NOT starting classes in April like I had planned. Sounds like a nightmare of a career choice. Is there ANYONE out there that likes being an assistant?????

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MA1 in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey

72 months ago

Hi,
Depending on the office/Dr. you work for it can be a great career if this is a career you think you would like to do...keep in mind you will be on your feet all day, if your young you won't mind..you really like people. etc...There are so many unhappy individuals because the dentists often don't appreciate their staff..appropriate pay...good health coverage, looong hours, and the assistants often feel used after awhile...it's hard to ask staff who are there becasue sometimes they are just sooo used to the office running the way it does and often some don't have a life, of which their job is it...I worked in an office for a specialist for 16 years and he was great...he retired...sold to another doctor who just didn't know how to treat staff...well i lasted with him for about another year and a half, begged me not to leave when the other doc retired...and i gave him a try...well...he never gave raises after "promises" to do so..raised our bonus program for anything over 40,000 amonth to 100,000 which just means we had to work harder to get a bonus..and cut our heatlh care ins to a cheaper hardly paying plan...needless to say "I was outta there"...after a year and a half of unemployment I found a specialist right down the street from where I live..as opposed to my other job the not so long 15 minute drive to work, but could be a nightmare with the all highway drive if an accident or anything else occurred... and I'm actually getting what i should be paid for my years of experience etc...good health coverage etc..so eventhough I had to leave a practice that i knew well and had a repoir with the patients...It worked out even better for me in the end...
Dental Assisting can be very rewarding, no matter what doctor you work for providing her appreciates and rewards his/her staff appropriately...You really have to do your homework if you wish to go into this field, i look at it as a double edged sword you can love the work but the wrong boss will make it miserable.

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Loveless Gonzalez in BLAKESLEE, Pennsylvania

70 months ago

I have been in the field since 1987 when I first got out of high school. I have been through my share of Dentists and it is hard finding the right one, but they are out there. Its seems that the younger Dentist have it more together then the older ones. I work with a DDS in New Jersey. He was the best Dentist you could find. Still to this day I would go back and work for him again. He now has his own practice, but before he had a partner and that partner was an idiot and though that he knew it all.. He told the Dentist not to hire me because there was something that he didn't like about me. Well the Dentist hire me anyway and I ended up working with hem for over 4 years. Until the idiot started to go out with my best friend from the office. Things just got weird after that. I told her she shouldn't do that but then he got mad at me and then things got really bad. Me and her got into a fist fight next thing I know he comes at me and pulls my hair. Well I took him to court and won the case. But to make a long story short the dentist I work for made it fun and worth wild to being a Dental Assistant. I learn alot from him. I have move out of the state of Jersey and I have yet to find a Dentist like him. He gave us break and bonuses.I want him to come to my graduation he was my inspiration to become a Hygienist so, Don't give up sometimes its really not the Dentist fault it could be the staff members. Sometime some of them are so afraid that you will be better then them and take their job security away. I got fired because of a head Dental Asst feeling like I was better then her. She told the Dentist all sort of things about me and because she was the head asst that was there longer then I was he fire me.. but yes there is hope I still love the field I plan on becoming a Dental hygienist so there is still hope.

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grays in San Antonio, Texas

70 months ago

Hello There,

Your going to find that there are "HATERS" everywhere...it's called Jelousy. Try not to let it get you down unfortunately at times, this is life in the work place and for some reason dentistry appears to attract somewhat wierd type of individuals staff and the like. You'll find something soon in which you will be a much better fit.

Good luck and God Speed!

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Loveless Gonzalez in BLAKESLEE, Pennsylvania

70 months ago

Grays

You are right about finding "Haters" I have come across a few. To this day I haven't let that stop me. Dentistry does attract strange individuals but I guess you have to be a little off to be working on peoples mouth's all day. I love it for the science of it all. I went for an interview yesterday, the dentist was in practice for over 47 years and his office looked like it too. Boy o Boy was that scary..He was weird let say I won't take the job even if he calls.. We do have that opposition girls just so you know.. Stay cool girls.. and thanks grays

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smlmar in Maryland

70 months ago

Fed up RDA in San Jose, California said: Seriously I am glad it's not just me. I was wondering if maybe I was just cursed or something. Thank you for sharing, it actually puts my mind at ease a bit. Still going to stay in school and get out though...

No it is not just you! I work in a three dentist office and they are all horrible. They are arrogant, thankless, greedy people. None of the three are nice. They are sneaky and deceitful and put on good faces for their patients.

They don't even allow us a lunch break because they want to work nonstop. Only time we get a lunch break is if a patient cancels during the noon hour. It is not a great job, and somedays I want to throw in the towel too! I feel mentally and physically worn out from this line of work.

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lynngrays in San Antonio, Texas

70 months ago

Hello,

May I ask how old you are and how long you have been assisting? If you are a seasoned and experienced assistant and quite professional, you would have left some time ago. I do understand finnces are an issue however, what you must do is start getting your resumes out there and when you have an off day you must schedule some interviews. There is absolutely no reason why you should have to put yourself under such deress it's not worth it! There is better out there i would hate going into an office with such a horrible group of individuals. Believe me if you leave, they'll not miss you they will only find another BIG FLUNKY...and right now...YOUR IT....BIG TIME....GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN OR GO CRAZY WORKING THERE.

Lynn

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Old Asst in Barrie, Ontario

70 months ago

I've some questions for Dentists reading these comments.

Why do so many dentist resent their asst's? Is it truely the salary or is it something about us? Is it an attitude that is developed at dental school? So many dentists are the same, how can that be unless their is a common thread.

Can you do something to help stop this? Make this forum available to the schools you go to so Dentists can realize how bad their attitude and behavior is? It is their attitude that sets the tone of the office, creating resentment will only bring it back upon themselves. Can you discuss how to treat your asst's decently while in university? This would provide stability for all.

Thanks,

Old Asst

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MA1 in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey

70 months ago

Yes, learning in school about the "How to treat staff and appreciate their knowledge, help etc...would help them to manage and actually "keep" staff would be half their battle in the practice. The really smart ones do know how to treat staff and unfortunutely they are "far and few" between to work for. I left my job because the "new guy" did the opposite to the old boss in every way...after 1 year or so i left the practice. not happy after 15 years but, I couldn't take his attitude about money etc..he was all out for "himself". now he is regretting I understand and can't find someone to replace me, they may not "miss me" but they will miss the skills that are not readily their with someone else who is not "seasoned" in the field.
If you keep looking you will find a better doctor they are out there. I think there are so many dentists out there that they just are so focused on getting people in as patients that the "staff" is just easily replaced, but the patients and "word of mouth" through them is the dentists only concern. Let's face it how many people go out not recommending to work in someone's practice verses not going to them as a patient through the public referrals etc.
Good Luck to any one out there in this field in finding a decent practice to work for today.
MA1

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lynngrays in San Antonio, Texas

70 months ago

Hi,

This sounds very sweet and loving however, there are more important things to focus on in Dental School other than how to interact with your assistant. It's your call if you are willing to put up with the negativity or move on....They will never change!!!!

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Okie in Cartwright, Oklahoma

70 months ago

Here is my two cents about the dental field. All of these comments are a different person, same situation. I had worked with a dentist for 19 years. For the most part it was good. But the last 10 years it was worse. Staff members were no longer team players. As far as the money went. I felt like I earned every dime. Looking at websites I think he paid me good. But the benefits were not steady. The more employees he hired or the older you got, he'd start back peddling. Once a dentist is established and doing exceptionally well, they tend to make it harder to achieve bonus goals for you. Then when they bring in a partner to share things, well it magnifies the situation. If you have a poor office manager and conflicting personalities, it makes for an unhappy office. The flip side is...I really do respect the dentist I worked for. He treated me like family as far as concern for me. But money? It was all business. This dental assistant career is not for a one income family. It's hard work and stressful at times. The responsibility can be overwelming. Especially if your the glue holding the practice together. It was bitter sweet leaving that practice. It's a matter of values. I value the person more than I do a dollar. Even though at the last I was payed well, it did get the best of the dentist. Too much pay. So I agree with who ever said its harder for an older assistant. I started with a new dentist and it was a fatal mistake. It ended my dental career. I worked with a dentist that made me feel incompetent. But you know what? Now I am working for dermatologists! I love it! No, it doesn't pay good now, but it will in about 19 years.LOL! You know that saying? Everything happens for a reason? It does. Whatever it is..it helps us grow to be a better person. Learn from your experiences and when it's bad enough, that's when you'll say I've had enough! God Bless yal.

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Old Asst in Barrie, Ontario

70 months ago

How negative! You must be a dentist or dentists wife; callous to the bone.

It costs the dentists money each time they replace us, how about *that* for a good reason to be a reasonable boss?

Don't Dentists get embarassed when you have go through so many asst's? You do realize that Dentists *do* get blackballed? Past a certain point a dentists name gets around and Assts wont work for them.

Do you realize that this Forum is telling the true story of the job? Does it make you proud? This job is worse then a nanny who is working for an abusive slave driving employer. It's time the world knows.

The reasons why there are so many Dental Assisting schools is because the Dentists burn us out. They are meeting a demand.

Humph!

Old Asst

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MA1 in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey

70 months ago

hi,
not meant to be sweet nor loving, it is a reality that "Business Management" to include "staff" should be instituted since the fact is it is such a problem in many practices. Unfortunutely, very few Docs can appreciate staff.
MA1

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grays in San Antonio, Texas

70 months ago

You poor poor unappreciated assistant you've so much to learn about the profession as well as professionalism. Good luck to you also if you continue to let this upset you so you'll forever be miserable.

Good Luck and Good Bless i think you need it.

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MA1 in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey

70 months ago

you are apparently another NUT on the forum....

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MA1 in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey

70 months ago

Hey,
the nut remark was made for the GREY person in TX...must be to hot there for them to think...i doubt they are a dentist, a "real" dentist would not have time in today's world to bother with the forums unless they were let go in a multi doctor practice which is possible..this person sounds like the condesending "idiot" from NY we were dealing with...
MA1

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M.J in Southington, Connecticut

69 months ago

Jade in Toronto, Ontario said: I have never responded to one of these blogs but alos have never seen a blog that has to do with assistants but I have a lot to say baout being a dental assistant. I have been a dental assistant for 6+ years now and have come to find that most dentists are condescending, patronizing, arrogant and self-centred. The most recent doctor I work with is such a pleasure to be honest.... After all these years I actually found a dentist that is appreciative, thoughtful, patient, fun etc. Seriously I have worked with so many a-holes.... It is like winning the lottery or tryin to find a needle in a haystack. I recently work with a dentist that came from Europe and he would bark at me and that was the way he was but I would always be on edge when I came to work and as the years pass it has traumatized me to a point where I am nervous all the time worryin about when they are gonna snap at me... I never talk back cuz they are my boss and I don't wanna get fired but most dentists are a-holes I have to say... The dentist now tells me I have to be more relaxed but after 6 years of abuse from dentists treating me like crap it is hard to relax... The funny thing is most patients think their dentists are sweet and great but think about it y would they be rude to the patients...they want their money....Dah!!! I wanted to be a hygienist when I was in grade 11 and after completing the dental assisting course in George Brown and working for many dentists I really do not have the passion anymore to do the dental hygiene course... Dentists behavior towards me over the years have made me lose passion for my job/career which is really a shame cuz I know I am a wonderful assistant... All I have to say is if U are someones assistant, anyoe, U should be appreciated and treated with respect especially in front of patients... it is very rude, humiliating, degrading and disrespectful to put down or yell at someone that works for u in front of other people... How

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M.J in Southington, Connecticut

69 months ago

Sorry for the last posting, site trouble. Anyway I too thought I had won the lotto with a dentist that I was with for six years untill this year he had treated me with respect. I learned sadly that it was a one way street all for his benifit. As long as I gave him a 100 and one percent then his treatment of me was good. Unfortunatly I was struck from behind by someone in a car and ended up with a herniated c-6 c-7 disc. Up untill that point never took a sick day, worked hard even took cell phone with me and spoke to some emergency patients on my vacation. Obviously with this I had to take time to heal for such an injury. Spoke to the office manager and sent medical reports constently. When I returned the doctor was nasty to me, by accussing me of not letting him know what was going on and suggesting that I had fabricated the injuries. He then cut my hours and hammered at me everyday after that with ridiculas accusations, standards and new rules. It became impossible to stay on so I resigned. After being a dental assistant and with the mostly negative experience I have had for 14 years, I have finally come to the conclusion that even the so called nice dentist have a terrible dark side.

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grays in San Antonio, Texas

69 months ago

WELL SAID................

PS, sorry for your troubles feel better soon!!

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M.J in Wallingford, Connecticut

69 months ago

Thanks grays in San Antionio Texas.
I do feel better, now that I am not working there any longer.

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Jane in Victoria, British Columbia

69 months ago

All I have to say is I will never regret my decision to change careers. Dental assisting almost killed me. Quitting has saved my life.
All the health problems I experienced from the stress of this career are gone now. If I had stayed, I would have died for sure.
Either from suicide (depression) or a heart attack. If you are unhappy, you owe it to yourself to get out and do something better.
These dentists don't care about anyone but themselves. Nobody deserves to be treated like a dog.

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KIM FROM MEDINA OH

68 months ago

HI I HAVE BEEN A DENTAL ASSISTANT FOR 10YR I HAVE ONLY WORKED FOR 1 DR. THAT I THOUGHT SHE WAS THE GREATEST WE TALKED ABOUT ROLLING EACH OTHER AROUND IN OUR WHEEL CHARIS AS WE GOT OLD THAT IS HOW LONG WE WERE GOING TO WORK TOGETHER. BUT THEN SHE HIRED AN EFDA RIGHT OUT OF SCHOOL THAT "A" PERSONALITY NO ONE LIKED AND SHE NEW EVERYTHING, THINGS CHANGED VERY FAST I ENDED UP LEAVING AFTER A YEAR AFTER SHE STARTED. SAD!! I HAVE JUMPED AROUND TRYING TO FIND SOMEONE WHO I WORKED WELL WITH AND THE DR. DID GREAT WORK "HARD TO FIND" I KNOW WORK WITH A DR. 8 YR INTO PRACTICE AND IS LIKE A ROBOT NO COMMUNICATION WITH ME OR PATIENTS HE DOESNT NO ANYTHING PERSONAL ABOUT OUR PATIENTS! WE DONT SPEAK UNLESS ITIS ABOUT A PATIENT HE TREATS ME LIKE CRAP AND TELLS ME WHEN HE WALKS IN THE ROOM I AM TO SHUT MY MOUTH AND LET HIM BE RECOGNIZED. HUH I AM TOLD BY THE GIRLS I WORK WITH THAT I AM THE ONLY ASSISTANT THAT HAS LASTED THIS LONG 9 MONTHS FRONT DESK HAS ONLY BEEN THERE 1 YR HE GOES THROUGH STAFF LIKE CRAZY. I AM THE ONLY ASST. I DO EVERYTHING FROM SWEEPING TO ORDERING, ASST MAINTANCE AND HELPING TO GET PATIENTS TO ACCEPT TX. HE TOLD ME EVEN THOUGH I DONT BELIEVE IN HIS WORK BEING GOOD I HAVE TO TELL PATIENTS HOW GREAT HE IS. HE DOESNT CARE FOR ME BECAUSE HE KNOWS I NO HE DOES BAD DENTISTRY!! IT IS SO HARD TO FIND SOMEONE OUT THERE WHO YOU CAN GET ALONG FROM 8-10 HR DAILY KNEE TO KNEE AND ENJOY BEING WITH THEM I THINK IT IS IMPOSSIBLE ! STARTING TO REALLY THINK I AM IN THE WRONG FIEL. I LOVE DENTISTRY SO IT IS HARD FOR ME TO WALK AWAY. ANYONE ELSE OUT THERE FEEL THE SAME WAY?

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MA1 in Oakland, New Jersey

68 months ago

Hi Kim,
Yes, and I left that practice over 2 years ago...I worked for 16 years in one practice...doctor retired was great...then he hired this "still" from what I understand "insecure" Oral Surgeon, who cut our bonuses, healthcare,etc....no raise working with him after giving him a try for a year and a half....sometimes you just have to leave...very sad,,,yes, I had a good reputation with the patients and the staff at the desk is just as insecure as he is...One front desk person has been there since the late 70's..She has "NO LIFE" no relationships, never been married, no children and became a "traitor" to the old doc who treated her well...she is in her 60's by now and is pathetic to say the least....I didn't want to work in an environment like that so i left sorta speak....he fired me but I didn't like it there any more and it showed...he actually fired me after i asked for a raise for the third time in the year and a half I worked for him..he made promises but, never kept them...he was just a "Liar" and I got disgusted with it....Now after two years I understand he has gone through at least 4 assistants...I guess I got the last laugh....:D
I now am going into a new facility that is Dental Implants and Plastic Surgery Center...Beautiful Place all brand new....I can't wait to start in September! Things go the way they go for a reason.. and they are starting me at $18.00 to $20.00 an hour and increases after 3 months...."really Professionally" run business...finally I found something and getting paid what I know I am worth..I have 16 years experience as an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgical Assistant and I am Certified which is a big plus. They want experienced people. I am finally being appreciated like I was when I worked for my first Doc.
Sometimes you just have to let go of the past and move on...I missed the other office I realized because I knew the "office layout" itself and the people in the area...but I have to say I am glad I left.

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diane in Sarasota, Florida

68 months ago

Dr G in San Diego, California said: Hope all is well. I am so sorry that you all feel this way. I do know what you all mean. I don't know what kind of boss I am. My staff does seem to like me or so I think. There problems are many. Many Dentists have very little training in communication and usually very little experience in managing people. To defend the profession, not all of us are money hungry. I always pick what is best for the patient over what is best my pocket book. In addition, We dentists have one of the most stressful jobs. If you already did not know, dentists have the number one suicide rate of all professions. I do think that some of it has to do with employee related stress. Some examples include staff being late, calling in sick when a child is sick, or how about not coming in because of drinking the night before. I have come across these before.
.
So, to put into prospective, I have 4 years of college dregree and 4 years of dental school. On top of that I worked 1 year at a residency program and earned $27,000. Six years after graduation, I invested everything I had in buying my first office. After workng 1 year in my office, I have broken even. That is right, I earned nothing. So do the math, 4+4+1+7=16 years. I have invested 16 years to get to were I am today. After sixteen years, my net worth is less that zero. This year I am projecting sallary. So, the right of passage has been long and hard. It has turned some of us into as*h**es. My recommendation to all of you is love what you do because in all professions you will find a*s*ol**.

You sound like a wonderful person who is open to growth and possibilities that would make your office a great place to be. Too bad I am in Florida or I would come and apply for a job. I have been assisting for 29 years and have only recently starting teaching dental assissting on Sat. for a 10 week semester. I now am looking for a front desk position as I am ready for a change.

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diane in Sarasota, Florida

68 months ago

You sound like a wonderful person who is open to growth and possibilities that would make your office a great place to be. Too bad I am in Florida or I would come and apply for a job. I have been assisting for 29 years and have only recently starting teaching dental assissting on Sat. for a 10 week semester. I now am looking for a front desk position as I am ready for a change.

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Loveless Gonzalez in BLAKESLEE, Pennsylvania

68 months ago

Wow Moving on to become a Dental Hygienist I was a Dental Asst so I understand everyone's pain... Thanks for sharing

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Ashley in Fayetteville, North Carolina

68 months ago

Okie in Cartwright, Oklahoma said: Here is my two cents about the dental field. All of these comments are a different person, same situation. I had worked with a dentist for 19 years. For the most part it was good. But the last 10 years it was worse. Staff members were no longer team players. As far as the money went. I felt like I earned every dime. Looking at websites I think he paid me good. But the benefits were not steady. The more employees he hired or the older you got, he'd start back peddling. Once a dentist is established and doing exceptionally well, they tend to make it harder to achieve bonus goals for you. Then when they bring in a partner to share things, well it magnifies the situation. If you have a poor office manager and conflicting personalities, it makes for an unhappy office. The flip side is...I really do respect the dentist I worked for. He treated me like family as far as concern for me. But money? It was all business. This dental assistant career is not for a one income family. It's hard work and stressful at times. The responsibility can be overwelming. Especially if your the glue holding the practice together. It was bitter sweet leaving that practice. It's a matter of values. I value the person more than I do a dollar. Even though at the last I was payed well, it did get the best of the dentist. Too much pay. So I agree with who ever said its harder for an older assistant. I started with a new dentist and it was a fatal mistake. It ended my dental career. I worked with a dentist that made me feel incompetent. But you know what? Now I am working for dermatologists! I love it! No, it doesn't pay good now, but it will in about 19 years.LOL! You know that saying? Everything happens for a reason? It does. Whatever it is..it helps us grow to be a better person. Learn from your experiences and when it's bad enough, that's when you'll say I've had enough! God Bless yal.

What kind of work are you doing at the dermatologist offic

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