How to be a team player in a dental office

If you're going to be a dental assistant, you need to be a team player.If you are considering a dental assistant career, it’s important to note that in addition to using the skills you learned during dental assistant school, you will need to be a team player when you begin working in an office. Dentists rely upon a strong team of professionals to help everything in their offices run smoothly.1 Looking for ways to show that you are a team player? Follow these easy tips:

1. Be an active listener

There is a difference between hearing and listening, and being an active listener will help you be a better team player. When you truly pay attention to what others are saying and make an attempt to consider different points of view, the entire team will be better off.2 You can also translate these skills to patient care by following directions given by the dentist or dental hygienist with whom you are working.3

2. Share information

When working as a part of a team, you should never assume that someone has access to the same information that you do.4 Do what you can to keep your co-workers informed about any changes in patient conditions or other information that may pertain to their work. Being open and honest with each other also creates a better work environment.5

3. Demonstrate reliability

To be a good team player, you also need to be a reliable employee. In other words, work hard, do your fair share, and follow through on your commitments. If you are able to demonstrate consistency and show your co-workers that you can be counted on, it may help your career.6

4. Stay positive

You can also facilitate a good team environment by constantly having a positive attitude. Even if you’re less than thrilled to go to work that day, putting a smile on your face and demonstrating your “can-do” attitude will be infectious and lead to a more harmonious work environment overall.7

1 Dental Economics, ‘A great team can help drive production,’ 2013 – http://www.dentaleconomics.com/articles/print/volume-100/issue-6/columns/a-great-team-can-help.html
2 Brounstein, Marty, Managing Teams for Dummies, ‘Ten Qualities of an Effective Team Player,’ Aug. 2002 – http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/ten-qualities-of-an-effective-team-player.html
3 Bureau of Labor Statistics, ‘Dental Assistants,’ June 26, 2012 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-assistants.htm#tab-4
4 Clark, Dorie, Forbes, ‘Five Ways to Become a Better Team Player,’ March 28, 2012 – http://www.forbes.com/sites/dorieclark/2012/03/28/five-ways-to-become-a-better-team-player/
5 Brounstein, Marty, Managing Teams for Dummies, ‘Ten Qualities of an Effective Team Player,’ Aug. 2002 – http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/ten-qualities-of-an-effective-team-player.html
6 Brounstein, Marty, Managing Teams for Dummies, ‘Ten Qualities of an Effective Team Player,’ Aug. 2002 – http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/ten-qualities-of-an-effective-team-player.html
7 Riggio, Ronald, Psychology Today, ‘Characteristics of Good Work Team Members,’ Jan. 15, 2013 – http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201301/characteristics-good-work-team-members