*hit play at the top of the photo for a slideshow while you read
This week is Dental Assistant's Recognition Week so I want to tell you about my fabulous chairside assistant and friend, Jennifer. I could do my job without her...but trust me, you don't want me to. If you don't know what a dental assistant does...it's more than just handing the dentist the right tool. A GREAT, AWESOME dental assistant does what Jennifer does....she gives me the confidence and the ability to do my job WELL and ENJOY it.
Any ol' person can sit across from me and hand me an instrument and a curing light. But Jennifer is unique and interesting and one of a kind. As a dentist, I can tell you that there is a lot of planning and consideration that goes into each patient's treatment - from a simple filling to a crown to a more comprehensive restorative plan that involves many factors...there are a lot of behind the scenes details and moving parts that go into our work. Jennifer follows through on those details and ensures that everything goes smoothly. She is responsible for keeping a complete inventory of all our supplies (which is a TON), ordering everything we need, storing, stocking and organizing all of these supplies. She works with many of our supply reps to help me research the best materials. Regarding clinical details, she acts as a liaison between myself and our patients, laboratory technicians, supply reps, and specialists. She needs to plan ahead for every detail of what will be needed for every patient's appointment and have it ready to go. But, she also has to be flexible to change plans at a moment's notice. Sometimes our best laid plans don't work out...and Jennifer has to react quickly and confidently. She can switch gears and support a new plan in a snap.
Jennifer is a hard worker and has a lot of unique interests and talents and it's fun to talk to her! I have learned a lot about cooking and baking, farms and cows and sale barns and rural life. Jennifer helps her husband run their farm...and I'm sure it's a well run farm if it's anything like how she helps keep us going around here!
Most importantly, Jennifer helps create an environment in which we take care of people. I'm not just talking about doing the right shade of composite in your tooth. I'm talking about knowing each patient's story and honoring that person to create an experience that is tailored to that individual. We know some of you like to laugh with us and some of you need your hand held during the anesthesia. Some of you like to be efficient and get the job done to keep to your busy schedule. Jennifer takes the time to know each patient's likes and dislikes. She remembers if you need the extra neck pillow or if you have a sensitive area that we should not spray cold water. She remembers that you went on a vacation after your last appointment and asks about it. She is genuinely invested in our patients and who they are and that is why Jennifer is MY chairside assistant. The details matter here and Jennifer makes that happen. I call her my "work wife" sometimes...and I'm glad to report that we have a really healthy "work marriage" and I wouldn't do my job without her.
So...below, take a moment to read the fun questionnaire that I put together for her. Before I gave it to her I answered all the questions in my head to see how well I know her...I actually know a lot about Jennifer since she IS my "work wife." But some of the answers surprised even me, and reinforce what a fun person Jennifer is!
Dental Assistant’s Recognition Week!
Getting to know Jennifer….
Ali Jones, D.D.S. - Dentist