What do pediatric dental assistants in the PDAA have to say about it’s multiple benefits?
To find out what they think and whether or not they would recommend the association to others, we surveyed pediatric dental assistants that have participated through their respective practices.
[Author’s note: Interviews were conducted by a third party so as to encourage honesty]
Pediatric Dental Assistants Reflect on the PDAA
Holly – Female, 23 years old, member of the PDAA since 2015
Irving – Male, 22 years old, member of the PDAA since 2016
What were you doing before being trained as a pediatric dental assistant?
Holly: Before attending school at the PDAS, I was a full-time student at Jacksonville State University for three years, and I was still undecided about what I wanted to do with my life.
Irving: I was doing well for myself as a utility worker on day shift, but I just didn’t want to do that forever. It’s not what I saw myself doing long term.
What are your favorite aspects about the PDAA (training, instructors, modules, events etc.)?
Holly: I really cannot think of one thing that was not helpful to me every week. Everything I learned I took with me to the practice and it really helped me. I loved every single part of the course and I could go on and on about everything I learned. The on-demand video instructions really helped with learning the material and helped me feel comfortable learning to do it on my own.
Irving: The PDAA provides me with everything I need to make me into a well-informed pediatric dental assistant. I like getting to learn from real professionals who’ve had plenty of experience in their field and gaining insight from actually doing it themselves.
What module have you liked the best?
Holly: I like learning tips for four-handed dentistry. I love learning about the different parts to each procedure and how to perform them.
Irving: I enjoy learning about dental charting, the surfaces of the teeth, and teeth numbering. That helped me a lot in the beginning.
What module have you liked the least?
Holly: I don’t like doing impressions, but I will say that the PDAA has helped me a lot in doing impressions more efficiently at the office.
Irving: Radiology, hands down.
Did you feel prepared when you started your new job?
Holly: Yes, even despite the fact that this was my first job in the field, my coworkers were impressed that I came with all of the knowledge, skills, and vocabulary needed for my career.
Irving: I felt like I was ready to go. Every office has their own variance in standard operating procedures, but I had the skills I needed to be successful (thanks to the PDAA) and learn the preferences of the practice I work for.
How do you feel about your future? How does that compare to the time before your career change to a pediatric dental assistant?
Holly: I absolutely love my career and my new lifestyle. I definitely want to be in the dental field for the rest of my life and the PDAA will help with that. Being a pediatric dental assistant has made me want to further my career, so down the road I plan to venture into pediatric dental hygiene.
Irving: I really like this career a lot more than my previous job. This work has made me really love dentistry, so I am going to stay in the field.
How has your life changed since you’ve joined the PDAA?
Holly: I feel like ever since I joined the PDAA, I have grown up. I have professional skills, I work full time with a great team, and I can support myself easily.
Irving: I’m a lot better at my job. I’m more aware of the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene and regular cleaning appointments. I like assisting in a kid-friendly office, helping children through their fear of the dentist, continuing to learn with the PDAA, and seeing all the beautiful smiles that walk through our doors.
Would you recommend the PDAA to your friends?
Holly: At my job now, people constantly ask me where I learned my skills and where I went to learn the things I do. I constantly tell them about the PDAA and give them all the info they need!
Irving: I would definitely recommend the PDAA to anyone who is in pediatric dentistry.
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