Staying Open-Minded About Your Healthcare

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I didn't know what I was going to do. After the devastation subsided, I decided to take a very standard, western approach to my healing. Although initial efforts were successful, my cancer recurred a few months later. I endured many additional months of treatment before I started focusing on myself. I decided it was time to incorporate complimentary alternative treatments into my healing regimen, including massage therapy. I can't even begin to tell you how much it changed my life. My healing became a process, instead of something I simply had to endure. I hope that the articles on my website can inspire you to stay open-minded about your own healthcare.

Dental Assisting: A Healthcare Job Without Lengthy Formal Training Requirements

Health & Medical Blog

If you're interested in a healthcare job that doesn't require much formal education, consider becoming a dental assistant. These workers are in demand, and the pay is good for an occupation you can begin without any sort of degree. 


The average pay for a dental assistant as of 2014 was about $17.40 per hour, or about $36,000 annually for full-time workers. You also have the potential to earn a much higher salary. The upper 25 percent of dental assistants in 2014 had wages higher than $20.50 per hour, or better than $42,000 per year. 

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts fast job growth in this occupation for the foreseeable future.

An increasing emphasis on preventive care means more people coming to dental clinics regularly for routine teeth cleanings and checkups. Many dental insurance policies pay for two routine appointments every year, and the Affordable Care Act expanded dental insurance to more citizens. In addition, more people than ever are keeping their own teeth throughout their elderly years, and continue to need dental care. 

Dentists have learned they can streamline their work by having skilled assistants at their side. That means the clinic can provide high-quality service to a larger number of patients. 

Dental Assistant Training

Most states don't require any formal education for these workers except for operating X-ray equipment. For other duties, dentists may train prospective assistants on the job. If your state does require formal credentials for basic dental assisting duties, you typically can complete the coursework in one or two semesters. The Dental Assisting National Board has detailed information on requirements for this occupation in each state.

Even if your state doesn't mandate formal training, completing a program can help you stand out when competing for the best jobs. Numerous community colleges, technical schools and trade schools offer dental assisting courses that award a diploma or certificate. 

Some tasks beyond the basic duties can be performed by dental assistants if they complete board certification programs in specific skills. For instance, in some states, dental assistants can do tooth polishing after dental hygienists remove hard tartar. These tasks are known as expanded functions.

You also can complete training in a specialty, such as assisting in an orthodontic practice.

Contact schools in your area, or heathcare staffing agencies like SOS Healthcare Staffing, if you're interested in enrolling in a dental assisting program. That's a great first step toward acquiring a rewarding and profitable job in healthcare. 


17 July 2015