Jasmine is a Charter College graduate in the Diploma in Dental Assisting program and is now working for a dental office. She talks about the qualities an office looks for when hiring a new dental assistant. She also talks about her experience at Charter College and offers advice for new students and the importance of working fast and doing thing correctly.
Charter Success (CS): Why did you choose the dental assisting program?
Jasmine: Since I was a kid, I had always wanted to be a cop. I went to another school to become a probation officer and realized that it wasn't for me. I wanted something more hands-on where I would always be moving around and busy. I didn't want to do paperwork all day.
CS: When did you finish the program and when will you be graduating?
Jasmine: I finished in October 2012 and missed the October graduation ceremony. I will be walking at the next graduation on April 12, 2013.
CS: We understand that you are now working for a local dental office?
Jasmine: I work for a dental group that has three offices in the Antelope Valley area. When I first started working for them, I would work at more than one office depending on where they needed me. I now work at one office.
CS: Were you hired from your extern site?
Jasmine: Yes. They wanted to hire me when I first started my externship.
CS: Why do you think they hired you so quickly? What qualities were they looking for?
Jasmine: They hired me because of my personality. Their offices are very cheerful. When we are confirming calls for patients, we don't even have to say our names because they already know its us because of the way we talk to them. Every time our patients come in to the office, we try to be more close to them than just being a business so they won't be scared to come in.
Our offices are for kids and adults and the kids like coming in and know where everything is at. There are certain patients that come in all the time and they want us to be cheerful with them or with anyone that comes in. The reason they put me in the front office is because I'm cheerful and not shy.
CS: When you're not working, what do you like to do in your free time?
Jasmine: Before I started working, I use to do a lot of boxing and soccer. I now like to spend money on makeup and do my friends hair.
CS: What are your job duties?
Jasmine: I mainly work in the front office unless I'm needed in the back office. I'm sometimes needed at another office and may work the back office all day. I greet people, put their charts up, pull all the charts for the next day and check their insurance and confirm calls. When I work in the back, I assist the doctor, do tray setups, sterilize instruments and everything else that needs to be done.
CS: Does your supervisors seek your advice when hiring new employees?
Jasmine: Yes they do. One of the things we look for is if they are cheerful. We don't approve of the ones that are too quiet. We also watch to see if they are doing things right and when we tell them to do something, do they do it. We also watch to see if we have to tell them things more than once.
There are also girls that come in and they are really slow. In a dental office, you can't be slow. Everything has to be fast. There are days where it is really busy and you need to go fast but at the same time, we treat the patients like we want them to be there and we're not kicking them out. Everything has to be ready for the doctor so they can just come in and do what they need to do.
CS: What advice would you give to a current student in the dental assisting program that would help them prepare for working in a dental office?
Jasmine: When you're in class, there are things that you think you don't have to remember because you think you'll remember it when you're working. Remember the things you learn in class now. For example, learn your instruments now so the doctor will know that you know them. When you start working, all you should have to remember is where everything is.
CS: How was your overall experience at Charter College?
Jasmine: I passed all of my classes and enjoyed my teacher. She taught us to do everything fast and right. When I started working, everything was fast paced. I feel like she prepared us with everything she taught us. When I got to my externship, I knew exactly what everyone was talking about. I was prepared for my work experience.