At the Dental Assisting Institute of Virginia, we offer an intensive curriculum for those seeking to earn their diploma in dental assisting. Our classes in Colonial Heights, Virginia, allow you to learn under the tutelage of an experienced dentist, Dr. Tom G. Schleicher, in an actual, hands-on dental office. This course is completed in only 13 weeks, where you will engage in 78 hours of lectures and labs, and a 50-hour dental assistant internship. After you have completed this training, you will be a valuable asset to any dental, orthodontic, endodontic, or orthodontic office.
One of the essential skills you will learn during your time with us is chairside manners. You’ll learn why this skill is so valuable for the relationship between patient and staff, who trust us and rely on us for their oral health needs. Let’s take just a brief overview of what chairside manners entail.
– You’ll want to build an effective communication bond. You will learn to engage with your patient using eye contact. This means looking at them in the eye now and then instead of just focusing on working in the mouth. You want to make sure you are addressing the person as a whole, not just as a mouth when you are with your patient.
– You’ll want to listen to and internalize the feelings of the patient to better help them. This means developing your listening skills so you can truly understand what the patient is telling you, both verbally and nonverbally. Being sensitive to their tone as well as the spoken word will help, and let’s face it, most people just want to feel heard. Is the patient nervous? Asking questions is a great way to get them to open up regarding their condition and the treatment they are here for today.
– Remember, part of your job as a dental assistant is to help them leave the treatment with a positive experience and give them closure at the end of their visit. This means reacting kindly if they share personal news with you, and if they have problems, being a good listener can help them feel they matter. They’re a person, not just as a set of teeth and gums to be repaired. Connecting with them as they leave will help them remember their visit with a smile and a willingness to return again down the road.
– When you work on a patient, offering them an assuring pat on the hand or arm can let them know they are being cared for and in good hands, so to speak. An older patient may even appreciate a hug, where appropriate. People reclining in the chair can often feel vulnerable and a simple touch can help them relax. You want your patient to have the most comfortable, pleasant, and painless experience so they will want to come back again.
– And finally, can you feel what they’re feeling? This is vital in building good communication with your patient. What makes the patient happy? We want them to trust us in our doctor/patient relationship and build loyal, long-term relationships. We want our patients to return to us for treatment, over and over again. That is successful relationship building.
To learn more about our dental assisting training program, please give us a call 804-526-0231 today. We’re excited to tell you more about how you can become a valuable asset to any dental office!