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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 have wanted to work in the dental field since I was in elementary school.
What does a typical day 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 for this job?
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 at the completion of a job?
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.