I’m finally home! That is the feeling that I get every day when I walk into my office. Have you ever wondered just what you are doing? Where your career is going? Are you just trying to make it through the day.
I am here to tell you that through your dedication to your craft and the personal sacrifices you may be making for your family are what makes you stronger, more focused and ultimately happier.
Being a dental assistant for the past 35 years, from Jacksonville, Florida, I started my career in corporate and private offices. Through a thirst for knowledge, I have held every position in the dental office that did not require a state license other than radiology. Like we all do, I just started to learn my craft. One of my proudest moments was when a senior doctor that I worked for came into a consult where I had been prepping a patient and asked them if they had any questions. He was sure I had answered them all exactly the way he would have, because we had built such a strong relationship that my words and his were exactly the same. I know it may seem like such a small thing, but to me that moment changed my life. I thought, “Hey, this tech school graduate does know a thing or two about how to relate to people, patients, my doctor and my team.”
I found my dental home in 2007 as a clinical assistant in Ocala, Florida. For me it came at an amazing place in my life. I had been doing temp jobs in this office for the past 2 years, watching and learning how this company works. I had worked in other DSO’s in the past, and thought this one was going to be just the same – the patient is not the first priority. You could say, I was somewhat skeptical and since I was a temp, and then a part time employee, it took a while for me to begin to experience anything outside of my office that this DSO had to offer as far as support and educational opportunities. What I found, was a dental team that valued and respected those people who came to us for their dental needs. I had finally become part of the dental family I had been searching for. As part of becoming a member of our Heartland Dental family, every new employee goes to their Dental Orientation. When I joined we held the classes in Orlando. Now they are held in our home offices in Effingham, Illinois. We went around the room and everyone got to share where they saw themselves 5 years from now. I said teaching this class. In due course, I started to teach core classes in 2010 with a regional DA Mastery class, along with regional business classes. About 3 years ago, I started presenting the Dental Orientation on a monthly basis. In May of 2014 I accepted the position of Dental Assistant Training Coordinator. I then relocated to Effingham, Illinois. My job design as DA Training Coordinator includes developing educational materials, presenting classes, coaching and growing presenters for our core classes and regional workshops, and partnering to develop our DA Mentor program. I am responsible for all things OSHA for our company, and just earned a Certified Dental Specialist OSHA certificate. With my partner, Lakeisha Lewis, Senior DA Mentor, we are able to encourage and train clinical mentors throughout the company nationwide, ensure their continuing education and develop their mentoring skills. At this time we have a lead DA Mentor in every region of the country and they are in turn growing their bench with stationary mentors. Now I am working on becoming a certified Dentrix trainer. I’m lucky to be able to touch lives daily and could not ask for a better lifestyle and career. Thanks for your time and keep smilingJ,