MBTI® Test ENFJ Dental Assistant
Strong Interest Inventory® General Occupational Theme Code: Conventional, Realistic, Social (CRS)
According to Hammer (1996), Myers-Briggs test Extraverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging (ENFJ) personality types work well in fields where they can work directly with people to help them improve their lives, or in fields involving the arts and working with their hands. These MBTI test personality aspects often make them a good fit as dental assistants.
Dental assistants are dentists’ second-in-command. They prepare the patient and help them feel more comfortable, and also instruct them on best practices for oral hygiene. They also take the patient’s vitals and diagnostic x-rays to make sure the dentists have all the information they need to properly diagnose and treat the patients. Dental assistants may also maintain the dental equipment needed for given procedures, as well as the records of particular patients. They order and replace supplies, and conduct behind-the-scenes lab work, like exposing x-rays and making impressions of study casts and molds. Essentially, their job is to make sure a dentist’s office works like a well-oiled machine, meeting the needs of both the dentist as well as the patients.
Dental assistants need to use a variety of specialized tools in order to conduct dental procedures. These may include dental dam supplies, like rubber dam punches, clamp forceps, molar clamps, etc., in order to ensure that patients’ mouths stay open. They may also need to use dental hand pieces, picks, mirrors, etc. in order to conduct a preliminary cleaning. In some cases, electrical surgical hand pieces are needed as well. Of utmost importance in dentistry or any medical field, is sterilization. Therefore, dental assistants need to have an intimate knowledge of different methods of sterilization (including steam, chemical, heat, etc.) in order to prevent diseases and infections from being spread.
In addition to medical skill sets, dental assistants also need to be able to use a variety of computer software to maintain appropriate patient and inventory records, as well as remain in communication with patients, suppliers, and dental professionals. Such software include accounting and spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel and QuickBooks Pro, email software like Gmail or Microsoft outlook, and medical software like Henry Schein Denorex or The Systems Workplace TDOCs. Different dental offices use different software, so a comfort and ability to adapt is extremely important.
Because dental assistants work closely with other staff members as well as their patients, they need strong customer service and English language skills in addition to their specialized knowledge of medicine and dentistry. A background in human psychology is also helpful, particularly when treating patients who are very fearful or have anxiety surrounding going to the dentist. This level of social perceptiveness is difficult to teach, but comes naturally to ENFJ’s, which is part of why they are so well-suited for this field.
Dental assistants need to have fine-tuned motor skills in order to properly operate within the narrow confines of a patient’s mouth. They also need to be able to visualize spaces strongly and accurately, particularly since much dental work is done through mirrors and reflections.
ENFJ’s are ideal for careers as dental assistants because they enjoy working with others and they naturally have strong organizational and communication skills. They are energized in challenging environments and are open to learning new skills.
Below are some employment trends for dental assistants:
- Median wage: $16.78 hourly, $34,900 annually
- Employment: 303,000 employees
- Projected growth (2012-2022): much faster than average (22% or higher)
- Projected job openings (2012-2022): 137,200
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- Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections Onetonline.org
- MBTI® Type Tables for Occupations, 2nd Edition. Schaubhut, N. & Thompson, R. (CPP, 2008)
- Introduction To Type and Careers, Hammer, A. (CPP, 1996).