This summer is flying by! This past month has seriously been life-changing and amazing. It's been awesome to learn from a coffee roaster, stay at a dude ranch, and to spend a week at Sierra Trading Post. I have been loved on by the people at all the jobs and the hospitality I've experienced is priceless. People really like this One-Week Job Project. I'm thankful for the hot meals, free coffee, excellent host homes, and fun adventures I've had!
This week I'm back home in Tennessee to rest up for my future jobs and travels & work at a Dentist's office for Job #3. I'm working with Dr. Keith Tedford of Tedford Family Dentistry in Ooltewah, Tennessee. It's a three for one deal since I get to job-shadow the dental hygienist, dental assistant, and the dentist himself, Dr. Tedford.
It's a major bummer that I can't get into people's grills myself to do dental work, but that might not be such a good idea. I'm not officially trained as an assistant so I am just watching all week.
When I mention how I ended up at this job this week, most people cringe at the thought of working inside peoples' mouths as a career. I've always been intrigued by medical jobs, but am not a huge fan of blood and guts. The dental field is unique since they typically work 9-5, Monday-Friday. Unlike some medical jobs that require odd hours, inconsistent schedules, and lots of emergency cases, dentistry offers a consistent schedule and very few crazy invasive procedures.
I'm actually shadowing my personal dentist and his team this week. It's interesting to be on the other side of the chair. Here are some of the factors that intrigue me about working in dentristry:
Schedule: Dr. Tedford and his assistants work only week-days and get off around 5PM daily. There are both part-time and full-time positions and the schedules are usually the same for each person each week. For the moms on staff, they can work part-time and still be free to take care of their kiddos during the week.
Variety: Everyday is completely different! Even though the staff performs the same procedures (cleanings, filling, root canals, crowns, etc.) daily, they work on different peoples' mouths. In a sense, the dental industry requires good problem-solving skills since no 2 mouths are the same. Dr. Tedford and his team have to consider a patient's whole dental history when working on their teeth.
People-Oriented: this may be seem like a no-brainer, but I love people. In trying these jobs, I'm learning that I thrive on interacting with people. If I'm forced to sit in a cubicle all day, I'm seriously like a flower that doesn't get watered! As a family dentistry office, the staff get to see both kids and adults on a regular basis.
Overall, I'm enjoying my time here! I definitely feel more compelled to research dental assistant & hygienist programs in my area. The highlight of today was getting to drill a tooth (part of a set of fake teeth) and put in a filling. Dr. Tedford instructed me to drill a cross-shape on the top surface of the
tooth to mimic how he would drill to get any decay out of the tooth. After that, I squirted composite into the cross shape on the tooth. To harden the filling, I used a curing light (shines super bright blue light). I don't know how it works but somehow shining the ultra-bright curing light on the composite creates a hard filling.