As a dental assistant, you’ll have the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives. However, before you can start working in the dental school clinic and start getting real-world experience, you’ll need to start with a great foundation. In your introductory classes, you can expect to learn everything you need to know to become a great dental assistant. The classes can be tough, but with a few helpful tips and tricks, you’ll be able to maintain a healthy balance between academics and your personal life. Here’s what you need to know.
Make Use of Your Dental School Resources
Dental school can be challenging, but the school itself has plenty of resources in place to help you succeed. If you have a question about an assignment, go to your professor’s office hours and get the help you need. Become part of a study group and work with your peers to better understand the material. Need additional help or want to find a tutor? The school will be able to put you in contact with someone familiar with the subject you’re struggling in.
Schedule Time for Yourself
It’s easy for dental assistant training courses to become the main focus of your life, especially when you’re excited about working in the dental school clinic. However, it’s important to take time out for yourself as well. Every week, try to schedule at least a few hours of “me time.” Do something you love, go see a movie, take a walk in the park, or make your favorite meal. This will give your mind a chance to relax and recharge before you go back to studying for your courses intensely. If you’re working a full-time job at the same time as going to school, taking time for yourself is even more important. The last thing you want to struggle with is burnout right before a big test or a practical at your dental school clinic.
Create a Designated Study Zone
Dental assistant training requires a lot of studying. This means you’ll need a nice and quiet place to focus on homework for different courses while you’re away from campus. Try to set up a designated study zone at home. This can be as simple as a specific seat at the dining table, a cozy nook in the living room, or even a TV tray that can hold your computer, notebooks, or textbooks comfortably. When you’re able to work in the same spot each time, you’ll train your mind to focus on your courses anytime you’re in that seat.
Even as a part-time student, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get involved with the community at your dental school. Look for student organizations and groups that share your interests. Participate in volunteer hours at the dental school clinic. No matter what you do, the more involved you become, the more experience you’ll receive before you start working in the dental industry. Remember, getting involved is also the perfect opportunity to build your network. In 2017, there were approximately 7,030 dental assistants working in Arizona alone. The larger your network is, the more opportunities you’ll have for employment in the future.
Ready to take the next step in your future? Enroll in dental assistant training at your local dental school clinic today!