The dental practice assistant (ASO) is a very important professional in the dental practice, who supports the dentist in the care of patients. The ASO is the figure who first meets the patient and has the delicate task of welcoming him or, in the case of a first visit, has the crucial task of introducing him to the practice for the first time. On this same occasion, she helps the patient to collect his own information in the anamnesis, or, in the case of anamnesis compiled only by the patient, she makes sure that it is complete and intelligible and then submits it to the dentist. You then record this information in the folder so that it is always available.
The word that goes hand in hand with ASO is care: care of the person, before that of the patient. It will therefore be the task of the ASO to continuously assist the person before and after the procedures, in order to pursue the therapeutic alliance. Making this relationship blossom and nurture is daily bread in the work of the ASO, through simple attention, from putting the patient at ease (for example by personally taking care of his personal belongings) to the actual assistance during the session (aspiration, etc..), until the final goodbye. A proactive, attentive, professional, and positive attitude of the ASO will be a reason for the growth of the relationship with the patient and consequently will increase his trust in the structure. This relationship between the ASO and the patient naturally also extends to telephone communication with the practice in the days immediately following an operation.
The ASO must be able to explain to the patient, in clear, reassuring and understandable terms, the procedures to be implemented before or after a surgical operation, or still be able to respond, within the limits of his competence, to the doubts that may arise regarding the dosage of a drug illustrated by the dentist.
The ASO must be able to manage a discussion with the patient with professionalism and empathy, relying on the knowledge of the protocols that the dentist applies.
This area requires having some innate professional soft skills, but it is certain that observation, practice and experience are the best tools to develop good empathy with patients, to transmit safety and ultimately create a relationship of trust with the person who relies on us for treatment.
Here are some of the activities that the ASO carries out in the patient’s first visit:
Patient reception and registration
The first impact is essential to make the patient feel at ease and welcome in the practice. The ASO should greet the patient with a smile and a friendly attitude, ask for her name and record her personal details, such as age, address, telephone number and e-mail address, if any.
Collection of patient history
Collecting the patient’s medical history is essential to know his medical history, medications in use, allergies and previous diseases. The ASO should collect this information accurately and in detail, to provide it to the dentist and ensure maximum patient safety and well-being.
Preliminary clinical examination
The ASO should perform a preliminary clinical examination of the patient, which includes inspection of the mouth and teeth, detection of any lesions or inflammation, and evaluation for the presence of caries or other dental problems.
Preparing the patient for the interview with the dentist
The ASO should prepare the patient for the interview with the dentist, explaining the procedure that will be followed and addressing any questions or concerns the patient may have. The ASO should also reassure the patient by providing information on the dentist’s expertise and experience, and on the technologies and techniques used in the practice.
During the first visit, the ASO is generally also responsible for other operational aspects:
the preparation of the necessary material and instruments, the disinfection and sterilization of the instruments, the management of waste, the cleaning of the clinical area.
Inventory accounting management
In addition, the ASO also takes care of inventory accounting management, which includes activities such as monitoring wear levels of instruments and medicines, managing medical material orders and maintaining relationships with suppliers. This responsibility is of fundamental importance to guarantee efficient management of the resources and materials necessary for the dental practice, thus contributing to maintaining high standards of efficiency and quality in the services offered.
Selmedico, as a closed-loop marketplace for medical devices, offers ASOs a wide range of high-quality dental products from reliable suppliers, simplifying the procurement process and ensuring an accurate selection of the materials needed for the practice dental. The platform can provide an intuitive and convenient interface to explore, compare and purchase products, allowing ASOs to save valuable time in purchasing management and to focus more on supporting dentists and patients.