An interview with a dental assistant for Sunrise Dental Clinic. While willing to answer all of the questions, the interviewee has chosen to stay anonymous.

Q:  How long have you been a dental assistant?

A: Eighteen years.

Q: What type of training did you have to become a dental assistant?

A: I was trained on the job and I continued education classes at Broward College.

Q: What do you like best about your job?

A: Everything. Just being able to interact with people and help people and to learn new things everyday. I like every aspect of my job. I can’t pick out one in particular. I like my patients, and I like to treat them as I am treated.

Q: Describe your typical day on the job.

A: Very busy.  Clock in, check my charts, get my patients ready. Once the patients come in, we just get ready for what that work entails. That’s everyday. Sometimes we take x-rays. Besides that, working with the doctor doing different procedures. It’s such a broad spectrum of what I do everyday.

Q: What career were you in before becoming a dental assistant?  Do you feel that it helped prepare you for becoming a dental assistant?

A: I was a schoolteacher and a financial service clerk. It’s helped me tremendously because I am a people person. Being a schoolteacher helped me deal psychologically with people.

Q: What traits do you feel are necessary to be successful as a dental assistant?

A: You have to know how to communicate. So, communication skills are important. And you have to learn your skills. And you have to be good at it. You have to learn to take instructions and follow them. You need to be ambitious, too. You have to have an open mind and be very observant.

Q: Would you say it’s imperative to have a college education for a career such as this one?

A: Yes. I do have one. But it’s not required.

Q: Even though it’s not required, do you feel it helped you get this job, as opposed to someone who didn’t get a college education?

A: Definitely. They have good reason to pass a high school graduate up. But not me, unless I didn’t have a good personality.

Q: Would you recommend this career to someone else?

A: Yes, definitely. I recommend this as a career because it’s a stable job, you can make good money, and you can always advance. If you want to be more than an assistant, you can go back to school to become, say, a hygeinist. The more credentials, the more the money you get. With college, there are more doors open for you.

Q: What is your next career move, if any?

A: I don’t think I have another one, because I’m nearing retirement. I’m sixty-two and I want to leave here and retire.

Does Dental Assisting sound like it could be a good career for you?  Find a dental assisting program near you in Florida.