Graphic Designer Turned Dental Assistant Finds Niche Market in Dentistry

I’ve been a graphic designer for years, in Dentistry. I somehow ended up in Dentistry and was able to apply my marketing and computer skills in this industry. Never in a million years did I suspect that my career would have such a fortuitous opportunity as it has working in the Dental Field. I say this partly because I never had any interest in the medical field, but when push came to shove and I needed a job, I was willing to take whatever came my way.

My first dental job was for a small practice in Mt. Pleasant, MI. As you can imagine my incapability to find a job as a GD in such a small college town in Michigan left me desperate. The Dental practice I worked for was small but the owner was young, smart and willing to teach someone with no experience in Dentistry what is was to be a stellar advanced assistant. As time led on, I was able to implement my computer skills in the practice as they were preparing for the computer age of dentistry. Mind you, this is 1997. As a trade off, I acquired a skill set unimaginable to me and in return, I was able to help my boss quickly implement an electronic ends to a means by converting his practice to a computer driven situation. This was the way of the future, little did we know at the time, this technology would become the driving force of progressive dentistry as we know it today.

Being that as it may, a GD is accustomed to using Apple products, as they are the most efficient and graphically unique products for what we do. Unfortunately, given that dental technology is based around Windows products, I was stuck. However, that didn’t mean that I was incapable of using GD software, it just meant that I was stuck using it on a Windows based machine, which meant more time and a learning curve that I quite honestly didn’t want to deal with, but I had no choice.

I was able to get my hands a copy of Pagemaker and in return was able to create some marketing pieces for my boss, brochures, CID, newsletters etc… This was my breakout into the Dental Field as a tehno guru, marketing specialist and Dental Assistant. Strange combination I know, but it actually became a unique niche, one that would later lead to one of the most successful career moves I have ever made. I didn’t have a Mac to work with but it was probably best because I was able to make it work with a PC and it gave me an invaluable skill that to this day still benefits me. Crossover knowledge is paramount in this fast moving world. I might have taken a bite of the poison Apple now, but I still have a strong understanding of PC’s and Microsoft products and in dentistry this is valuable knowledge.

Consequently, after a year at my first dental job, I found it vital to research my options and settled on Austin as the most suitable city to re-locate to. Given my new skill set, I was able to swiftly pick up a job as an assistant.  As a result, every dental job since then I have been able to amplify my adeptness as an advanced dental assistant and implement my marketing/graphic designing expertise into these positions. Each job has brought more responsibilities, more opportunity to further myself from the clinical world and bring me closer to the creative world of Dental Marketing. As a benefit, Dentists like to keep things in house as much as possible when it comes to advertising/marketing. It keeps their costs low and it gives them the personal edge on the market, however, these are unique opportunities to have a staff member that not only understands Dentistry but also knows how to market the practice as well. Win win.

In the end, we sometimes wonder how we ended up where we did, but maybe its more like, serendipitously things happen as they should. Who would’ve thought a Graphic Designer, turned Dental Assistant would later have a more than successful career in Dentistry doing just that. Never underestimate the power of the unknown and possibility. I’m glad I didn’t…

Since 1997, I found a way out of the dental chair and back into my realm of GD and Marketing as a Social Media Marketing Coordinator for an Advanced General Dentist. With the demand of Social Media as a Marketing tool in SEO, I have once again found another niche in Dentistry and all those years of assisting chair side have finally paid off. Because of that Advanced Dental knowledge, not only has it given me an arsenal of knowledge when it comes to implementing SEO, but it has given me the opportunity to do what I was meant to do, finally!

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