September 27, 2023

Dental assistants can and should be leaders in the practice

Salt River Fields at Talking Stick

One of the things that I do for fun is write about the Colorado Rockies baseball team for a site called Rox Pile. I’ve written about sports since I was in junior high and live in the Denver area, so being able to do this is such a great and fun opportunity for me. I’m a baseball fanatic so getting to talk to the Rockies players and coaches about their craft is just an amazing experience.

For the last couple of years, I’ve headed to Arizona to spring training to cover the Rockies for a few days and see how the team is shaping up. Spring training is a great chance to talk to the players and coaches in a more relaxed atmosphere.

Last season, I talked to then-Colorado manager Walt Weiss about the number of young players he had on his roster and the impact he expected them to have as the season went along. The topic of leadership came up and it mixed in with our conversation about his young players. He said a very interesting quote about leadership…

“People talk about leadership. I expect all of those guys to lead in their own way, even the young guys, through work ethic and the way they compete. I think everybody has a responsibility to lead that way.”

As I walked away, I thought about the opportunity for dental assistants to lead in their practice. Fresh on the job or a veteran of the industry, a dental assistant has the opportunity to be a leader through his or her work ethic and dedication to patients as well as dedication to improving the bottom line of the business.

Dental assistants, how are you leading in your practice today? Before you answer that, don’t think in your mind that you’re “just a dental assistant.” You’re not “just” anything. By demeaning yourself and your position in your mind, you’re limiting your own potential. You’re not “just a dental assistant.” You’re THE dental assistant. You’re THE backbone of the practice. You’re THE confidant for so many of your patients who are nervous or scared about their visit and dental procedures. You’re also a leader in the practice.

Walt Weiss was right. Everyone has a responsibility to lead through their work ethic. Dental assistants, how are you leading in your practice today?

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