Who would have thought that at the young age of seventeen, close to eighteen, I would literally fall into the career that I am in and still love?
Growing up in the small town of Springboro, Ohio I made the choice to spend my senior year of high school going to a vocational school known as Warren County Joint Vocational School. I heard a rumor a few years after I graduated that due to an underlying implication, the school changed its name to Warren County Career Center.
The school drew students from surrounding schools and offered courses in things such as horticulture, cosmetology, automotive mechanics, administrative assistant and many other career choices.
I chose the administrative course and anticipated entering the business world shortly after graduation. While those skills would come in handy; a strange twist of luck changed my path. My first cousin encouraged me to apply for a job as a dental assistant at the office where she worked.
I told her she was CRAZY since I didn’t have a clue about being a dental assistant. Why in the world would they hire me? She convinced me the dentists were more interested in the right person and preferred to do “on the job” training because there were three dentists who shared the assistants and each one did procedures a little differently. It was easier to teach someone who had no “book taught” or established habits.
Next thing you know, I’m in crisp white pants with a uniform top embarking on a thirty year plus career that I am still in today. And just a little side note: Ohio — Walking down sidewalk from parking lot to office — Snow/slush —Crisp white pants — oncoming car — Pants not so white anymore!. AAAAARGH!!!!!
I worked at the Ohio office for two years before moving to the Tampa Bay Florida area.
Each state has different regulations and requires certificates/diplomas for dental hygienists, dental assistants and the dentists. I received my certificates of completion for expanded duties, pit and fissure sealants and required radiology certification from the University of Florida in 1984.
From the time I started in Ohio, along with the move to Florida, I spent the first ten years of my career as a chair-side dental assistant, before moving into a more administrative position. I have been in that type of position since. I worked for a few Florida dentists for short spans until I found the dental office in Largo, Florida that I spent ten years with.
I am now at a dental office in Palm Harbor, Florida; Dr. Paul Caputo’s office. I am fast approaching my fourteenth year anniversary and feel very fortunate to have found such a fulfilling workplace. I work with an incredible group of women. They are dedicated, experienced and each one of them has different qualities and skills that I admire and respect. Dr. Caputo is also knowledgeable and an admirable boss.
I could never have predicted the first time I took a dental x-ray or actually got to use a dental instrument in the mouth, that thirty years later I would still be working for a dentist.
I was fortunate to have gotten hired and have “on the job” training. Working for Dr. Caputo I have learned so many things about implants, root canals and crowns to sedation dentistry, wisdom teeth extractions; there’s just too many things to list. To be honest, I feel like I am still receiving “on the job” training and I am looking forward to continue learning. Let’s hope my next thirty years in the career are as fulfilling as the first thirty 🙂
Paul L. Caputo, DDS3490 E Lake Rd S Suite A