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If you’re thinking about pursuing a career as a Dental Assistant, have you thought about how to get the most bang for your buck? The best and most successful students at Pacific Northwest Dental Assisting School in Vancouver have one thing in common:

They ask great questions about Dental Assisting!

But what are they asking? Let’s find out!

Why are we learning this?

The biggest and most important question any student can ask during a Dental Assisting program is “Why?”. Good students will want to learn what a treatment is or how a task is performed. But the very best students (and the very best Dental Assistants) will want to know the why behind their duties.

Asking why will help you develop a deeper and more thorough understanding of the skills you’re learning. Instead of relying solely on memorization of steps or information, you’ll internalize the importance of what you’re doing.

You’ll also be better prepared to help patients understand what you’re doing and why. The better you can communicate with patients (who are often a little nervous) the more at ease you’ll help them become, making for a better overall experience at the dentist’s office.

Learn more traits that are essential to being an outstanding Dental Assistant.

How will we use this when working with patients?

Your 12-week Dental Assisting program at Pacific Northwest Dental Assisting School includes 144 hours of classroom study. Your internship is 50 hours in length. During your classroom studies, you must work hard to learn the theory behind the practical skills you’ll be applying during your internship. Truly understanding how the information you’re learning will help patients is the hallmark of an outstanding Dental Assistant.

Read more about how the skills learned in the classroom will be applied during your Dental Assisting internship.

How am I doing? What do I need to improve?

Our instructors love to see students who are excited not only about learning, but about improving themselves as well! It’s important to realize that dentistry as a field is constantly evolving — there’s always something new to learn. In addition, your Dental Assisting program shouldn’t be the end of your education — it’s just the beginning!

Your first opportunities to improve will be during your internship. Ask your mentors and colleagues for feedback. Always be striving to improve upon your past performance. At Pacific Northwest Dental Assisting School, we love students and interns who take initiative and show continuous improvement.

Read more about how to keep developing your skills as a Dental Assistant during your internship.

What will my day be like when working as a Dental Assistant?

Many students at Pacific Northwest Dental Assisting School have never worked in healthcare before. It’s completely natural to be confused and nervous about what comes next. Our instructors are experienced and have worked in dentistry for years. They’re happy to share what they’ve learned and help you understand what to expect when working as a Dental Assistant.

You’ll learn that your day as a Dental Assistant may include:

  • Assisting a Dentist during treatments
  • Reviewing patient medical records
  • Processing payments and coding insurance paperwork
  • Preparing and/or sterilizing operatories before/after procedures

Keep reading about a day in the life of a dental assistant.

How will I get my first job as a Dental Assistant?

The best time to start thinking about getting your first position as a Dental Assistant is before you complete your Dental Assisting program. Your program’s instructors and the Dentists, Hygienists, and Dental Assistants you work with are all excellent sources of insights into how to find your first position. They may know of practices that are hiring, upcoming job fairs, or of other networking opportunities you can use to your advantage. Also don’t be afraid to ask about dental assisting salaries — it’s important to know what the market in your area is offering!

Discover more tips for graduates from Dental Assisting programs.

Do graduates ever find work in fields other than Dental Assisting?

We strongly believe that graduates of our Dental Assisting programs should start their careers working as Dental Assistants. However, many graduates find that their Dental Assisting skills and knowledge may help them. A strong background in office procedures, insurance billing, and patient care can be combined with additional training, experience, education, and certifications, leading to careers as a:

  • Dental Hygienist
  • Medical Billing and Coding Specialist
  • Dental Office Manager

Discover more career opportunities for graduates of Dental Assisting programs.

BONUS: 5 Dental Assisting questions to ask when evaluating programs

Are you thinking about a career as a Dental Assistant? When researching and evaluating different programs in the Portland and Vancouver area, ask these Dental Assisting questions:

  1. Do you guarantee placement in an internship? At Pacific Northwest Dental Assisting School, the answer is a resounding YES! All students are guaranteed placement in an internship at our on-site and affiliated dental practice.
  2. Will I be ready to work work right away after graduating? In most cases, you’ll be ready to work right away in the State of Washington but additional experience may be needed to work in Oregon.
  3. What will I learn during your program? Always closely review a program’s course outline to get a sense of what will be taught.
  4. How are job opportunities for Dental Assistants in the area? Don’t settle for anecdotal answers. Look for hard data on the career outlook for Dental Assistants!
  5. Who will I learn from and are they experienced? Our instructors have decades of combined experience both working in the Dental field as well as teaching aspiring Dental Assistants.

Get started today!

Pacific Northwest Dental Assisting School is known for small class sizes, expert instructors, and great job opportunities for graduates. If you’re thinking about applying, call today (360) 818-7273 for more information. We’ll answer your questions, talk about next steps and invite you out for a visit and a meet-and-greet with our expert instructors.

What are you waiting for? Contact us today!