While most children are afraid of the dentist office, Victoria Galvan wanted to work there.
"I had braces in the third grade so once that experience happened I was just like, 'I want to be dental assistant,'" she said. "And my stepmom was also a dental assistant so I kind of fell into it."
Now a graduate from American Career College-Ontario, Galvan recalled that even as a child, she was fascinated with all the tools and techniques at her stepmom's workplace. It didn't hurt, she added, that the dentist and assistants all took the time to encourage her curiosity.
"The doctor was super friendly and all the assistants were really cooperative," she said. "I was always a person to ask a lot of questions and they didn't hesitate to answer them. I thought that was pretty cool."
When I moved here from Guam I knew I needed to do something in my field that I wanted to do and ACC was the first school that popped up on the Internet. I did my research. A lot of dental offices hired students that came straight out of ACC and my friends went here, so they told me it's a good school to attend.
The staff. They were really helpful and kind. They really gave me my options and told me all the information I needed to know in order for me to come here, so that made me feel more secure.
Be on your game. Come here every day — attendance matters, 100 percent. Make friends. Studying really does help. Your instructors are here to help you, they're not here to just teach you. Everyone here is just really supportive and as long as you give them your 100 percent, they're going give you their 100 percent.
I knew you had to have good grades, but I didn't necessarily know just how competitive it was going to be. I thought it was going to be, 'OK, this is what you need to do in trade school. Here you go.' There are people here who genuinely want to make a change in their life and that's where I feel ACC really pushes students to succeed.
Patient care. I feel like is the best experience for me. I think that's what makes the job even better and here they also teach you a lot of communication and how to talk with your patients. That's honestly my favorite part about dental assisting.
No. I feel like dental assisting or the dental field in general, you really have to love what you do. It is a lot of work. It's not hard to learn, it's really not, but it's hard if you don't want to do it.
I lived in Guam and I was actually working as a dental assistant out there. The only difference (is in Guam) you didn't have to be certified so I just got on-the-job training. But then when I came to California I needed to get my state certification.
Brush, floss and drink lots of water. Stay away from the dark stuff like coffee and soda. Personally, I suggest you brush twice a day and floss after every meal because that food gets stuck in between those teeth!
I think the instructors are amazing. They teach you everything you need to know. They teach you confidence, communication. They put you on your game. They're really involved with their students and that's really great for school, because you go to a big school and no one's really involved like that. I feel like here they make it like family.
ACC cannot guarantee employment. Programs vary by campus. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student. For graduation rates, median debt of graduates completing this program and other important information, visit americancareercollege.edu/disclosures.
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