As I am writing this letter, April is only a few short weeks away from giving birth to her second daughter! She will be beginning maternity leave at the end of this month and will be painfully missed by our entire team – especially me. I have known April since she was a little girl because she was a friend and classmate of my daughter Lauren. She has been a member of our dental team for nearly ten years and she has been my favorite dental assistant of all time!
Not too long after April joined our team, I remember our celebrating her 21st birthday. Liz, Maria and I took April to the Mediterra Bar in Princeton where she was served her first “legal” cocktail. She was very well behaved for a 21-year-old and has been that way for as long as I’ve known her. It struck me as unusual that she would want to spend that occasion with us but we were very glad that she did.
April has always been an absolute pleasure to work with. She is one of the reasons that I look forward to getting up in the morning and going to work. Discussing what has transpired since last seeing each other has been a daily ritual and she is the one who I can count on to stay calm in any situation; in a dental office, that type of personality is priceless. April has some traits of which patients may not be aware. As many of you know, I sometimes enjoy chatting away while working. There are times when this “chatting” becomes – shall we say – inappropriate. Generally, that’s because my mind is elsewhere as I’m focused on the task at hand. At times like this, I will feel April kick my shin or utter an “ahem” which I have been trained to understand means “close the mouth”. In a similar way, I have come to depend on April at times to translate what I am trying to say to a patient into words that make sense. Whether the conversation breakdown is due to a gender disconnect or too much “technicalese”, April has a way of conveying the substance of what I’m trying to say in an understandable way. That is an amazing gift.
The truth is that I have had a number of dental assistants with whom I truly enjoyed working. In the several years before April began, my sister-in-law Zora (Liz’s brother’s wife) joined our team and worked with us until moving to Florida. Both she and April were amazing because they learned every important instrument, technique and concept necessary to be outstanding dental assistants – and all within a three-month period. This is not an easy feat and led me to feel that each of these women could be an excellent dentist if they had the desire and time. Before Zora there was Allison who I also truly enjoyed working with for several years. Allison joined us at the time I began attending LVI, and she traveled there with me, Liz and our then hygienist, Deanna. We shared some wonderful times in Las Vegas and having trained together, were better able to implement what was learned there.
All of these dental assistants deserve much credit for the work that they do. Not only do they have to understand the dental materials, the techniques, ordering supplies and how to use the dental software, but they need to be even-tempered psychologists and dental concierges for our patients as well. What they do is hard work and they do it in such a way that the rest of the team as well as our patients are happy.