Essential Functions: Dental Assistant

Dental assistants working in the field of dentistry must have the ability to perform the functions listed below safely, reliably and efficiently within the scope of practice as defined by the Dentistry Examining Board.

Disability Act Statement: Madison College complies with all provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and makes reasonable accommodations upon request for qualified individuals. If you believe you may need accommodations to assist you in performing the functions listed below, please contact the Disability Resources Services (DRS) office at (608) 246-6716 or (800) 322-6282 ext. 6716 (deaf students via Relay 711) or email(link sends e-mail).

Critical Thinking: Critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment and professional behavior

  • problem-solving
  • maintain confidentiality
  • consider consequences of solutions
  • establish priorities
  • organize a workload and manage time in order to complete tasks within allotted time
  • evaluate outcomes
  • make and defend sound judgments
  • note relationships and patterns

Interpersonal Skills: Interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with others from a variety of social, emotional, cultural and intellectual backgrounds

  • establish good rapport with patients, teachers, classmates and other health care professionals
  • critically evaluate performance, accept constructive criticism in a professional manner and be responsible for improving performance
  • compassionate, ethical and sensitive to the needs of others
  • honest and forthright

Communication: Abilities sufficient for interaction with others

  • read and comprehend technical and professional materials (textbooks, journal articles, handbooks and procedure manuals)
  • follow written and oral instructions in order to correctly perform dental assisting clinical and laboratory procedures
  • communicate concisely, effectively and courteously in person and by phone
  • explain treatment procedures and discuss dental health
  • maintain clear, concise and accurate clinical records and reports
  • perform basic computer functions

Mobility: Physical abilities sufficient to maneuver as required to perform clinical and laboratory procedures

  • maneuver freely, safely and efficiently in and around work areas
  • perform continuous patient treatment, often requiring prolonged sitting, repeated position change, head and neck in prolonged downward position and repetitive motion

Motor Skills: Gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to work safely and effectively

  • safely perform procedures requiring manual dexterity
  • control clinical equipment

Visual Ability: Visual ability sufficient to observe, perform clinical procedures, monitor and assess patient needs

  • read and comprehend text, numbers and graphs displayed in print or on a monitor
  • observe patient responses
  • read gauges accurately
  • observe laboratory and clinical demonstrations
  • identify dental instruments
  • observe variations in color, size and shape of oral tissues
  • perform prolonged multiple tasks in a small, artificially lit area

Touching: Fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective dental care

  • perform dental procedures with gloves on

Emotional Endurance: Ability to work in a high-stress environment, respond to emergencies and maintain emotional control

  • calmly react to urgent situations
  • recognize own stress level and seek assistance appropriately
  • perform multiple tasks and establish priorities in a limited time frame
  • set realistic expectations to meet program requirements
  • ability to maintain emotional control with others

Environmental Safety: Ability to protect self and others from environmental risks and hazards

  • follow established standard precautions
  • follow established safety procedures
  • utilize appropriate clinical safety equipment
  • use disinfectants and cleaning agents
  • work safely with potentially hazardous body fluids and contaminated, sharp instruments
  • use sterilization procedures effectively
  • tolerate frequent hand washing