An interview with Bridgett, who works in a dental office and earned the Dental Assistant Diploma from the Texas School of Business North Campus.
Q: Why did you decide to get this type of training?
A: I have always been interested in dentistry. I know it is kind of weird, but I have always been a little obsessed with my teeth and with other peoples’ teeth. At the same time, I really didn’t want to commit 8 years of my life to going to dental school! Becoming a dental assistant seemed like a good compromise.
Q: What is your current career?
A: I work as a dental assistant at a local dentist’s office. He actually has two different offices, so I sometimes bounce back and forth between the offices. I don’t mind, though, because I have come to know the patients at both places and I really enjoy getting to know them.
Q: How did your training help you get into this career?
A: There is no way I would have been able to get into the business if it hadn’t been for completing the program. I mean, I suppose it is possible I could have got a job doing the clerical work at a dentist office, but I wouldn’t have been able to work directly with the patients like I do if I hadn’t completed the program.
Q: How would things be different for you if you hadn’t received this training?
A: I would be stuck behind a desk answering phones and making appointments! Now, I get to work side by side with the dentist and actually get to work inside the mouths of our patients. That is a whole lot more fun to me and I earn more money than I would if I was just doing secretarial work.
Q: Were you happy with the training that you received?
A: Yes. I feel like the program really helped prepare me for my job.
Q: What was your favorite class?
A: I really liked the classes about handling dental emergencies. I have always been interested in knowing more about how broken teeth are repaired and things like that. Although I am not exactly qualified to perform all of the emergency procedures that a dentist can do, I do have a very good understanding of how it works now.
Q: What class do you think was the most useful?
A: For my current job, I think the classes about how to identify cavities and the different types of teeth was the most useful because that is what I spend a lot of my time doing. Learning how to properly handle dental instruments and how to properly assist the dentist has also been very helpful. After all, the more I can please the boss, the more I can be sure to have a job!
Q: How long did it take you to complete the program?
A: About two years.
Q: How much did it cost for you to complete the program?
A: Thanks to the financial aid and grants I received, it only cost me about $1,500 to complete the program.
Q: Did you go to school on a full-time or part-time basis?
A: I attend full-time while working in a dentist office on a part-time basis. Thankfully, the North Campus has flexible scheduling, so it wasn’t too difficult to work my classes around my schedule. Besides, since I was already working in a dentist’s office, I was able to start applying the things I learned right away and I was able to get a little extra help from the boss with understanding the material.
Q: Would you recommend this school to someone else? Why or why not?
A: Yes. I found the program to be very useful and the teachers were very knowledgeable. I also liked that the school was so flexible with its scheduling. That really made it easier to keep working while going to school.
Q: If you could do it all over again, would you?
A: Yes. I have two kids at home, so trying to juggle work, school and family was challenging at times. Still, it was worth it and it has all paid off in the end. I am making more money and am doing something that I really enjoy doing.
Q: What was the most difficult part of the program for you?
A: I think juggling my personal responsibilities while going to school was the hardest part for me.
Q: About how many other students were in your classes?
A: I’m not sure. 15 or maybe 20.