Occupations In Demand

Dental Assistant

Dental assistants prepare patients for oral examination and assist other dental workers, such as dentists, dental therapists and dental hygienists, in providing treatment to the teeth, mouth and gums. Dental assistants also carry out chair-side and receptionist duties. Dental Assistants are responsible for ensuring infection control standards are maintained.

As a Dental Assistant, you may perform the following tasks:

  • Receive patients, update personal details (e.g. address, phone numbers) and prepare them for necessary dental procedures.
  • Prepare surgery for dental treatment with correct instruments/materials ready for use as directed by the operator.
  • Mix materials for fillings.
  • Record findings from the oral examination.
  • Provide instruments and dispense materials during the oral examination or treatment, as directed by the operator.
  • Provide pre-operative and post-operative instructions for patients undergoing general or local anaesthesia.
  • Clear the patient's mouth of saliva or dental materials used in the treatment by operating hand-held suction or air and water-spraying equipment.
  • Send/receive dental laboratory work for the dentist.
  • Clean and sterilise the instruments used after treatment, clean and tidy the surgery and implement standard decontamination procedures for infection control.
  • Process, mount and file dental x-rays.
  • Maintain and re-stock dental supplies.
  • Perform routine care and maintenance of dental equipment and instruments.
  • Make appointments for patients, keep records of patients' treatments and send out reminders for re-examinations.
  • Prepare accounts and collect payments.
  • Answer the telephone and carry out other office duties.

Personal Attributes

  • Able to concentrate and follow instructions
  • Good communicator and good interpersonal skills
  • Organised and good time management skills
  • Friendly, caring, polite and efficient
  • Basic computer skills

Desirable Skills

  • Interested in health care work
  • Knowledge of basic dentistry, infection control practices and hygiene
  • Familiar with dental practices to be able to anticipate the needs of the dentist
  • Familiar with dental materials and vocabulary
  • Able to understand dental surgery procedures, including the use of sedatives and anesthetics

Certificate III in Dental Assisting

Improve your chances by:

  • completing subjects such as health, science and English
  • gaining experience in hospital work, reception work, or any work involving contact with people.

Long-term possibilities

Dental Hygienist

Dental Projects Officer

Dental Technician

Dental Therapist

Health Promotions Officer

Nurse (Div 1 or Div 2)

Population Health Worker

Practice Manager

Pathways to employment

Prospects for employment in the Dentistry field are excellent. You can start by taking on an Australian School-based Apprenticeship or Traineeship, and finish the certificate above while you finish High School. Check out your local newspaper or jump online and search for Dental Assistant jobs.

For more information, visit careersthatmatter.com.au.

Allied Health Assistant

The Allied Health Assistant plays an important role in the care of patients. Allied Health Assistants assist the professional care provider by taking on a number of necessary tasks. These tasks may include visiting patients in their homes, preparing appropriate reports, and assisting patients and their carers with tasks they are unable to do.

As an Allied Health Assistant it is not your role to diagnose illness or prescribe medications. The Allied Assistant works closely with professional health care providers such as doctors, speech patholgists, occupational therapists, nurses and diversion therapists.

Allied Health Assistants may be trained as an Occupational Therapy Assistants. Occupational Therapy Assistants work with sick, aged or disabled people in their homes. This may be for things such as bathing and showering or other personal and hygiene-related care.

Occupational Therapy Assistants construct, adjust and fit appropriate aids and equipment. They also assist with a range of daily living skills and rehabilitation activities as well as preparing and presenting reports of additional services and actions required.

Other Allied Health Assistant Roles

Therapy Assistant

Podiatry Assistant

Physiotherapy Assistant

Speech Pathology Assistant

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Allied Health Assistant

Nutrition Assistant

Dietetic Assistant

Allied Health Assistant Qualifications

Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance

Certificate IV in Allied Assistance

Personal Requirements

To be successful in the Allied Health Assistant role you need to be able to relate well to a diverse range of people including the sick, the frail, the aged, and people with disabilities.

To find a provider, visit Allied Health Training.