Meet The Dental Assistant: ‘I Don’t See Myself In Any Other Place’

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Josefina Barco, dental assistant ambassador
'To be honest I like everything about my job,' says dental assistant Josefina Barco. (Credit: Courtesy Josefina Barco)

Josefina Barco works at Midtown Dental Center in Atlanta as a dental assistant. The 41-year-old began working as a dental assistant in 2010.

Why did you get into this line of work? And did you always want to do this?

I've wanted to work in the dental field since I was in elementary school.  

What does a typical day for a dental assistant look like?

As soon as I get to work I check the schedule, then I make sure the equipment and dental instruments are ready. Next I prepare myself with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Also, I always try to get everything ready before the patients arrive, because a typical day at Midtown Dental Center is always busy.

What do you like most about your job? And least?

To be honest I like everything about my job. I enjoy what I do.

What’s the most common misconception about your job?

Some people think that I do the same job as a nurse. It’s not true. There is a big difference in the training between being a nurse and being a dental assistant. I always have to point that out. 

What do you wish you knew about the job before you got into it?

I love my job, but many times I am exhausted and sore when my day is over, especially with back pains. Even if you love your job, it can be taxing. I wish I would have known about the back problems. 

How did you train to become a dental assistant?

I went to dental training school for one year in Houston. I graduated and got my first  job. I had a very strict and perfectionist dentist who trained me. 

If you weren’t in your current industry what would you be doing?

Other than dentistry? I don’t see myself in any other place.

What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you about your work? 

The nicest thing anyone has done to me on the job was give me a hug. That’s when I realized my job was worth it.


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