By Josephine Reid
Although becoming a dental nurse, or assistant has a plethora of great benefits, there are some disadvantages to take into consideration as well, when it comes to making an educated career decision.
Job growth is a big thing to consider when looking for any future position. The growth as a dental nurse/assistant is an extreme advantage to this career. Essentially, one can be certain that when entering this job, you'll be able to stick with it due to its demand.
Variety is one advantage to life as a dental nurse. Dental assistants have a great deal of responsibility, and there's not one day that's exactly the same. For example, dental assistants are responsible for assisting with treatment procedures, developing dental radiographs, taking blood pressure, serving as an infection control officer, providing patients instructions on proper oral care, helping provide direct dental patient care, performing office management tasks, and more.
There is also quite a respectable pay with the median hourly income being $17 an hour, and a dental assistant with a larger amount of responsibility making up to $43k.
Some of the disadvantages of a position as a dental nurse or assistant include personal injury, not as high of a pay as other dental careers, and body fluid clean up. Because dental assistants often need to work with x-ray machines or sit in awkward and difficult positions while treating patients, they are more prone to suffering from personal injuries such as backaches, headaches, numbness in the arm and wrist, and neck pain.
The rank is pretty low compared to other dentistry careers. For example, the median salary for a practicing dentist is about $150,000 per year and the median salary for a dental hygienist is about $68,000 per year. Dental assistants also have the disadvantage of being responsible for cleaning up a patient’s blood and puss, which may not be for everyone.
Taking all the pros and cons into account, it all comes down to one's personal goals and traits that will solidify the best decision.
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