A Day in the Life of a Dental Assistant in Jersey City
Jersey City, New Jersey is home to a thriving local economy and a diverse community of over 260,000 residents. For dental assistants working in the city, no two days are ever quite the same. The role involves a dynamic mix of patient interactions, clinical duties, and administrative tasks. The needs of each workday vary based on the patients scheduled, procedures planned, and unexpected developments that arise.
By taking a closer look at a typical day, we can better understand the key responsibilities and experiences of dental assistants in Jersey City. While routines range across different practices, common activities give a general sense of the day-to-day work. Join us as we follow a dental assistant through their daily journey on the job.
Morning Arrival and Prep
Our assistant’s morning starts around 8:00 a.m. After parking behind the dental office, a small private practice located downtown, they unlock the front door and disable the security alarm. The first stop is turning on lights and computer equipment before reviewing the schedule for the day.
Six patients are booked for cleanings and exams with the dentist and hygienist. Three more are scheduled for fillings and crown prep with the dentist. After checking supplies and materials, the assistant starts the autoclaves to sterilize instrument packs needed for procedures. They also begin mixing impression materials so they can fully cure before appointments.
Patient Arrivals and Exams
The first patients start arriving around 8:30 a.m. Our assistant greets them warmly, collects paperwork, and seats them in the waiting room. When the dentist and hygienist are ready, the assistant brings patients to the exam rooms and takes their vitals including blood pressure and pulse.
During exams and cleanings, the assistant hands instruments to the providers and assists with any X-rays needed. They ask patients about any concerns and any details the dentist should know. Notes are entered directly into the computer system to update the patient’s electronic records. Many patients means the morning flies by!
Preparing for Procedures
After a quick lunch break, the afternoon is focused on fillings and crown preps. The assistant gets the operatory fully ready by laying out the dental dam, suction, anesthetic, drill, and all materials and hand instruments that may be required. They also prep and drape the patient chair to ensure comfort.
Once the patient arrives and is seated, the assistant reviews procedures and provides pre-op oral rinse. They adjust lighting, position the patient, and secure the dental dam for isolation before handing instruments during the procedures. The assistant also mixes materials like dental cement and takes impressions of prepared teeth.
Cleaning and Administrative Work
As procedures wrap up, our assistant thoroughly sterilizes used instruments and tools. They also provide post-op instructions to patients and schedule follow-up appointments. Reordering supplies and entering procedure notes are next. At the end of the day, they help the receptionist complete closing tasks like balancing payments.
Before leaving around 5:30 p.m, the assistant tidies work areas and readies operatory rooms for the following morning. They check that equipment is properly shut down, lock up supplies, and set the security system. As they drive home, they feel satisfied after another busy but rewarding day caring for patients!
The Variety and Rewards of Each Day
While no single day is the same, this overview captures common experiences for a dental assistant in Jersey City. Mornings often focus on exams and cleanings, while afternoons involve assisting with procedures. Workflow depends on the office schedule and patient needs. Unexpected urgent issues also arise periodically.
Working closely with patients is very fulfilling. Helping put people at ease and providing excellent clinical experiences is a priority for exceptional assistants. Each patient interaction is unique and meaningful.
The pace also keeps energy and engagement high. The day flies by while multi-tasking clinical, administrative and interpersonal demands. Learning and growth do not cease because each day is different. New techniques and technologies emerge constantly, ensuring continual growth.
If you reside locally in the Jersey City area and have an interest in launching a rewarding career in healthcare, dental assisting is a fantastic choice. The need for trained assistants is growing rapidly. Our accredited Dental Assistant School provide the skills and certifications to excel in this in-demand field. Contact us today to learn more and get started!