Dental assistants are likely to be a Myers-Briggs ISFJ personality type. ISFJ’s, or otherwise known as the ‘protector’, are empathetic and gentle. They have a genuine interest in caring for others. Much of a dental assistants duties are focused around looking after others and ensuring they are safe, and therefore these qualities are very important.
Accomplishment and mastery
A career as a dental assistant is pretty easy to enter, in many states only a short period of on-the-job training is required. Therefore, the sense of mastery for dental assistants is often fairly high to begin with as they quickly gather duties and responsibilities. Similarly, throughout their career, dental assistants will help patients each and every day, meaning that the sense of accomplishment is likely to remain high. However, they are often always supervised by dentists or hygienists, so there is a limit to the accomplishment and mastery of dental assistants.
Meaning and contribution
As the demand for dental care is only set to increase over the coming years, the work of dental assistants is highly meaningful for the growing population. Dental assistant take the pressure off dentists and hygienists and help ensure that a dental surgery runs efficiently. They also work hard to ensure that all dental patients are cared for correctly.
Most dental assistants are full-time employees. However, it is possible for assistants to obtain part-time work. Their hours can include weekends or evenings, although they typically work standard daytime shifts during weekdays.
Who will thrive in this career?
You will truly thrive as a dental assistant is are empathetic and compassionate. As I am sure you know, so many people dread going to the dentist. Dental assistants need to be on hand to lend a sympathetic, and understanding, ear. Similarly, you likely need to have a strong stomach in order to thrive as a dental assistant – blood, puss, saliva, bile… you’ll have to witness it all!
Thriving dental assistants are also likely to be highly organised. Often, they will need to keep a list of appointments and ensure patient records are kept neat and accessible. Thriving dental assistants are also likely to be natural communicators. They need to be able to work as part of a team and build trusting and strong relationships with both patients, and with dental assistants.
Who will struggle in this career?
Firstly, if you are not physically fit then you may struggle to keep up with the demands of job, which may involve bending over for long periods of time. Those who are afraid of blood and gore may also struggle as a dental assistant. Similarly, those who do not thrive off spending a whole day interacting with other people, either patients or work colleagues, will struggle in this career.