A couple of suburbs away from my home there was a Dental Office where the dentist was well over 75 years of age.
I say “was” because he recently had a fire, and needed to relocate his rooms.
The story goes that his dental team was made up purely of casual staff. He had no full timers.
What made this practice different was that all these part time female Dental Assistants were all older than the dentist.
And very loyal to the dentist too.
And then there’s another dentist I know of with a really great practice.
And this poor chap has just this week had two great team members each hand in notice to go off and pursue either education or a new career in completely non dental areas.
Both these valued team members will be sorely missed.
In this case, both these team members had each come from previous [separate] non-dental careers and been hired on attitude rather than skill.
And picked up the necessary skills almost like a natural. In both cases.
But now both want to “follow their passions” and move off into other fields, away from dentistry.
And while it’s a nice thought to feel that this dentist has been part of these staff’s “life journey”, you can’t help but feel for him, and some frustrations he may have with his situation of being a human “stepping stone”.
It seems to me to be more and more difficult these days to find “career dental assistants”.
And I’m not sure whether it’s a sign of the times, or it’s a sign of the market, that there just seems to be a shortage in the number of available candidates.
I’m getting the feeling that when it comes to school vocational guidance choices, there are so many more appealing career options out there, and that the tried and true and trusty Dental Assistant is not featuring towards the top of the list.
And after all, its not really a vocation where the young can be “checking their device” every few minutes, like they might be able to with a desk job elsewhere?
What’s the answer?
It’s tough being a dental employer in this day and age.
I know another dentist whose two clinical dental assistants are both overseas registered dentists, and who both desire one day to sit for their exams and pass and become registered to practice dentistry her in Australia.
Surely that’s not the answer?
One thing is for certain. The times, they are a-changing…
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