We all have magic within us, according to registered dental assistant Shari Becker, one of the presenters at the California Dental Association's CDA Presents The Art and Science of Dentistry virtual meeting. In her May 16 lecture, Becker will address the reality of burnout and how recognizing your self-worth and increasing your confidence can lead to personal and professional growth for dental assistants. But her advice is applicable to all types of dental professionals.
"The gist of it is to remember who you are and why you got into the profession in the first place, and that's really to care for others," Becker said of the presentation, which will be co-led by Claudia Pohl, RDA. "But to care for others, we really have to care for ourselves first."
Becker is presenting on the topic of helping dental assistants overcome burnout because of a recent rift in the profession. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the dental industry had noticed a lack of "well qualified" dental assistants entering the profession, Becker noted. This was due to issues with wages, benefits, and respect -- problems that only became more exaggerated when dental offices shut down last year. Many dental assistants left the office and realized they didn't want to come back.
"The stress of returning to work not only contained the stresses we experienced before the pandemic, but the pandemic added in new levels of stress as well -- even something as simple as our personal protective equipment," she said.
In the presentation, Becker hopes to reinvigorate dental assistants who may be feeling symptoms of burnout, helping them to realize their value and resiliency. That way, assistants can care for themselves and, in turn, for others.
"Become hungry on bettering yourself, because if it starts from the inside, that affords you an opportunity, then, to bring those gifts and talents and skills and energy to the rest of your colleagues and your team," Becker said. "We all have magic inside of us, and we sometimes need to be spurred on a bit."
Watch the video below for more advice from Becker on how to get out of your rut and advance your dental career.