The main purpose of your training in a new position is keep learning. An assistant at your new office may push you differently than you have been used to previously. You may receive criticism at a new job, take it as an opportunity to improve. Keep in mind that they are helping you learn. No one likes to be critiqued, be adaptable and do not take it personally or react emotionally. Pay attention to what is being said and choose to benefit from it and work on self improvement. If you believe it is not constructive, talk over your feelings with the person and come to an understanding instead of stewing in it.

Admit when you make a mistake. Covering up errors in the health care environment can have serious consequences. By not covering up mistakes and owning up to them you will avoid controversy when the mistake is found, this will be a great learning moment. Conduct yourself ethically. This means conforming to established standards for moral and correct behavior. In addition to ethical standards that apply to society as a whole, each health care profession has a code of ethics that serves as a guide for proper conduct. The dental assistants code of ethics includes autonomy, beneficence, justice, nonmaleficence, and veracity. You should become familiar with the code for your profession.

Let’s look at some examples of workplace behavior that demonstrate integrity:

  • Keep communication open. One of the worst things you can do is avoid someone that you may butt heads with. Cutting off contact is likely to increase distance and decrease understanding; it may increase tension in the workplace.
  • Don’t complain to your coworkers. This does not resolve problems and can actually create new problems: lowered morale among those who hear your complaints, lost work time, decrease in the quality of service to patients, and worsened relationships with the supervisor who hears about the grumbling through the grapevine.
  • Ask questions to learn your supervisor’s priorities and find out what is most important. You can make a list if you have difficulty remembering.
  • Ask for clarification if you are unclear about your duties or exactly what is expected of you. Many dentists like things done differently; it will be helpful to find this out. Take the guess work out of your tasks.
  • Realize the bottom line is this: you must work with your supervisor, and this means adapting to his or her style. Do your best to make the situation positive. Focus on learning as much as possible.