Making The Most Out of Your Dental Shadowing Sessions!

by Dr. Sharda Patel

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Once you get approval on your job shadow request from your desired dentist professional, there’s no time to sit back and relax. It’s time you prep yourself on how you will be making the most out of your dental shadowing sessions.

Now that you are choosing to experience this part of the medical field, you will have the opportunity to have a sneak peek into the everyday life of a dental professional. It won’t get you any credit for college, or a stipend, but it will give you experience before you decide to pursue it as your career. This is why it is important to give your best here because it is going to shape your career for the rest of your life.

So, without any further ado, let’s get started and address the elephant in the room – prepping you for your job shadowing sessions.

Ask for a workplace tour in advance.

It would be impossible for the people at the office to give you a tour of the workplace if you requested it instantly. Thus, it is important that you reach out to the professional’s office in advance to let them know that you are interested in the tour. It will help them find a free slot in their everyday work schedule to help you with the tour. It is not only professional but a way you showcase how much you respect their time.

Ask questions during everyday duties.

Keep your fear aside and ask as many questions as you need to have a crystal-clear view of what your future will look like. Observe and ask about the different procedures. Your interest will let the dental team guide you in a better way to the knowledge you wish to seek.

Don’t have second thoughts on whether your questions are dumb or irrelevant. It’s even worse if you don’t clear your doubts and let them linger in your mind. It won’t let you fulfill the purpose of job shadowing when you have the chance.

Make a log of everything.

The purpose of dental shadowing isn’t limited to asking questions. It also includes recording or taking notes of all the knowledge you get in return.

Try to be organized and have a neat hand while you jot down your notes. Summarize your observations, as these will come in handy in the future. Keep in mind learning from the experiences of professionals so that you won’t make the same mistakes in the future.

Ensure your work-life balance.

Dental shadowing sessions may increase your knowledge and skills, but don’t let them take over your life. You need to have a work-life balance. Ensure that you invest only the required number of hours into work to make it a habit once you start your practice.

Ask the dentist how they are able to maintain a balance on a personal level between family, career aspirations, work, and social life. Many professionals welcome such questions, which will also help you build rapport with the dental team.

Greet and network with everyone.

It’s a professional and a friendly gesture to greet everyone when you meet them. It will also help you get acquainted with the people on the dental team. Let them know who you are so that you can know the ins and outs of everyday work life at the dentist’s office.

You can also help them with their tasks, which will allow you to gain skills related to the goals of your career. As you assist them in their typical daily responsibilities, you get to learn a lot from more than one person.

Prepare yourself in advance for the shadowing session.

With all that said above, the last thing you need to do is prepare yourself mentally. Keep all the things discussed above in mind and follow them during your shadowing journey. Explore the workplace rules, learn about the company, and be as informed as you can about the place you are going for a dental shadowing session.

Gather knowledge about their services like oral health screening, tooth extraction, emergency dental care, etc. and prepare yourself for that. With knowledge comes confidence, and that will help you perform and learn better in your shadowing session.

Be confident! You are going to ace it.

Job shadowing is an exceptional experience that becomes valuable only if you do it right. Start your session on a gratifying note and leave a lasting first impression, as it will help you make the most out of the dental shadowing session.

Maintain a professional connection with everyone so that you can learn from everyone instead of just the dentist. Be thankful to everyone at the end of the day for everything they helped you with in order to express your gratitude for their support.

Do your preparations and be confident. Strengthen the above points and you will not have a thing to worry about next.

Happy learning!


About the Author:

Dr. Sharda Patel runs a family dentistry in Pleasanton, CA. She is a graduate of the Tufts University of Dental Medicines. She is a member of the American Dental Association, California Dental Association, and the American Dental Education Association. She is thorough, caring, and dedicated to patient satisfaction and comfort. You may find her reading a paperback on weekends.


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