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Practice Assistant - AZ - Dental Institute

Midwestern University
Glendale, Arizona, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Jan 22, 2024


The Practice Assistant in the College of Dental Medicine – Arizona (CDMA) provides assistance to the dentist and student dentist when it relates to examining and treating patients. The Practice Assistant in the Dental Institute is responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the CDMA’s clinics, including the coordination of materials, equipment and supplies, answering patient phone calls, scheduling patient appointments, and retrieving and relaying patient phone messages to students and faculty. Incumbents in this position work in multiple areas within the CDMA’s clinics on a rotational and/or specific assignment-based system. The Practice Assistant in the Dental Institute reports directly to the Practice Assistant Supervisor and must be able to adapt to work schedule changes based on the hours of the clinic.

Essential Job Functions

Professionalism & Collegiality
  • Model and ensure professional and collegial behavior
  • Maintain a positive working environment
  • Provide an environment of high quality, open and respectful communications
Equipment, Instrument and Consumable Supplies
  • Participate in the cycle of equipment, instruments and supplies
  • Deliver instrument carts to student dentists within the various suites
  • Check out equipment, instrument and supplies to the student dental provider
  • Check used instruments and equipment back in
  • Deliver instrument carts with used supplies back to the sterilization room and return used instruments.
Group Practice Clinic Functionality
  • Schedule and confirm appointments with the goal of optimizing clinic utilization. Among other tasks, it will include the systematic review of various student schedules, review of reports for patients with overdue appointments, and proactively facilitating the clinic schedule to ensure that available clinic times are utilized.
  • Keep treatment records.
  • Report malfunctioning equipment to appropriate personnel.
  • Identify and report general maintenance problems.
  • Assure presence of necessary materials.
  • Request and maintain the materials and supplies necessary for day-to-day operation
  • Assure adherence of all clinic policies including infection control guidelines
  • Participate in instrument, equipment and supply coordination.
  • Receive, greet and prepare patients for treatment
  • Acquire digital radiographs, intra-oral, extra-oral and Cone beam computed tomography
  • Assist dental students with acquisition of above dental radiographs
  • Oversee and demonstrate the correct radiographic technique to dental students and Practice Assistants in the Dental Institute
  • Assist dental students in planning and ordering lab fabricated surgical guide
  • Maintain sterilization and disinfection of radiology instruments and equipment
  • Import outside radiographs into patient electronic chart
  • Assist with dental operatory equipment infection control
  • Assist dental students and outside candidates with acquiring radiographs for dental board exams
  • Assist with training employees
  • Record keeping of radiation dosimetry
  • Facilitate the daily working of the radiology clinic and assist radiology faculty
Education and Compliance
  • Function as an integral component in the quality assurance of College of Dental Medicine - Illinois.
  • Work with student dentists, staff and faculty to assure adherence to all clinic policies and regulatory requirements such as infection control guidelines, OSHA standards and HIPAA privacy and security protocols.
  • Provide information on violations of clinic policies to the management
Sterilization and Dispensing
  • Responsible for the dispensing, collecting, and processing of dental instruments, equipment, and consumable supplies utilized in the College of Dental Medicine - Illinois clinics for the treatment of patients, both real and simulated as well as for the education of student doctors.
  • Prepare and process instruments, supplies and equipment.
  • Clean, disinfect, sterilize, package and restock instruments, supplies and equipment.
  • Utilize aseptic techniques when handling instruments, equipment and supplies.
  • Track, inventory and dispense dental instruments, supplies and equipment.
  • Package and sterilize disposable supplies such as gauze, cotton rolls, and cotton pellets.
  • Assist with data entry, ordering and sorting clinical supplies.
  • Assists with maintaining the organization, cleanliness and general appearance of the sterilizing, and dispensing rooms and their related storage facilities.
  • Maintain the stock of supplies needed to properly run the sterilizing and dispensing rooms, such as autoclave bags, tape, towels, patient’s drapes, caps, etc.
  • Assist in the training of new employees
  • Educate staff, faculty, and students about sterilization and infection control issues
Chair Side  Dental  Assisting

Provide chair side dental assistance, when required. While this is not an exhaustive list, the Practice Assistant in the Dental Institute will:
  • Transfer dental instruments
  • Adjust equipment to proper position
  • Manipulate and transfer dental materials
  • Retract soft tissue
  • Evacuate the oral cavity of debris to maintain a clear field of operation
  • Make diagnostic quality radiographic images
  • Set up and maintain dental cubicles
  • Utilize aseptic techniques
  • Follow up on proper infection control guidelines
  • Demonstrate four-handed dentistry
  • Place rubber dams on teeth to isolate them for individual treatment
  • Prepare materials for making impressions and restorations and make casts of teeth and mouth from impressions
  • Make temporary crowns
Additional Responsibilities
  • Bilingual/fluency in Spanish and English preferred
  • Assist with shelf organization for dispensary
  • Assist in the Sterilization Department, as needed
    • Dispense items to students and clinical instructors as needed.
    • Assist with organization for dispensary and suites
    • Participate in Dental Clinic meetings.
  • Assist in hygiene and emergencies when needed
  • Must be adaptable to shift changes.
  • Other duties may be assigned.

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. This individual must have the ability to work in a constant state of alertness and safe manner and must have regular, predictable, in-person attendance. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Other Qualifications

This position requires a significant amount of interaction with the public and many internal customers and therefore, the individual must be able to develop a positive rapport effectively. The ability to maintain a professional demeanor, be detail oriented and promote a welcoming atmosphere is essential. The individual must have the ability to become familiar with Dental Software Management Systems. This position requires working knowledge of how to take radiographic series and be able to demonstrate radiographic techniques to students as needed.

Education and/or Experience

High school diploma or GED required. Associate’s or technical certification preferred. 1-3 years of dental clinical practice experience required. Radiology and CPR certification is required. Must have working knowledge of digital radiography. Must be able to constantly take radiographs that meet acceptable standards for diagnostics and patient exposure. Registered Dental Assistant is preferred. Familiarity with OSHA guidelines. Experience working in a team and customer service-oriented environment. Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Computer Skills

Computer proficiency in MS Office (Word, Excel, Outlook). Ability to become familiar with the Clinic Management System.

Physical Demands

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, walk, stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl, use hands to handle or feel, reach with hands and arms, talk and hear. The employee is occasionally required to climb or balance and sit. The employee must frequently lift and /or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. The employee is regularly required to push up to 40 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Midwestern University is a private, not-for-profit organization that provides graduate and post-graduate education in the health sciences. The University has two campuses, one in Downers Grove, Illinois and the other in Glendale, Arizona. More than 6,000 full-time students are enrolled in graduate programs in osteopathic medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, physician assistant studies, physical therapy, occupational therapy, nurse anesthesia, cardiovascular perfusion, podiatry, optometry, clinical psychology, speech language pathology, biomedical sciences and veterinary medicine. Over 500 full-time faculty members and 400 staff members are dedicated to the education and development of our students in an environment that encourages learning, respect for all members of the health care team, service, interdisciplinary scholarly activity, and personal growth.

We offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes medical, dental, and vision insurance plans as well as life insurance, short/long term disability and pet insurance. We offer flexible spending accounts including healthcare reimbursement and child/dependent care account. We offer a work life balance with competitive time off package including paid holiday’s, sick/flex days, personal days and vacation days. We offer a 403(b) retirement plan, tuition reimbursement, child care subsidy reimbursement program, identity theft protection and an employee assistance program. Wellness is important to us and we offer a wellness facility on-site with a fully equipped fitness facility.

Midwestern University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer that does not discriminate against an employee or applicant based upon race; color; religion; creed; national origin or ancestry; ethnicity; sex (including pregnancy); gender (including gender expressions, gender identity; and sexual orientation); marital status; age; disability; citizenship; past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services; genetic information; or any other protected class, in accord with all federal, state and local laws, including 41 C.F.R. 60-1.4(a), 250.5(a), 300.5(a) and 741.5(a). Midwestern University complies with the Smoke-Free Arizona Act (A.R.S. 36-601.01) and the Smoke Free Illinois Act (410 ILCS 82/). Midwestern University complies with the Illinois Equal Pay Act of 2003 and Arizona Equal Pay Acts.




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