Janice Turner, RDA ACE

by Shannon Pace Brinker, CDA CDD ACE

We were having a team training class and I was given Janice Turner’s name from a friend in Texas who said there wasn’t a dental assistant on the planet who could take impressions better than Janice. I said to Dee Dee Reid, RDA that I had to meet Janice. After spending two full days with her, I totally was blown away with her passion for dentistry and her story of her assisting journey.

Janice is married with 2 sons and 2 daughter-in laws serving in active duty U.S. Air Force. She has three adorable granddaughters, Brookline, Harper and Abby.

Janice Turner

Why did you become a dental assistant?

I came from a very small town Jacksboro, Texas that has two red lights. If you blink, you missed it. As a Sophomore I worked for a Soil Conservation Service till graduation knew that I didn’t want to be a secretary. I love taking care of and helping others, so I went on a tour of a college in Waco TX that had a dental assisting program and I knew from the first minute I saw what programs were offered that dental assisting was what I was going to choose.

Being a girl from the country, there wasn’t much money for my parents to sent me to college. Just before I graduated the program that provided me with job with the SSC came and inform me my schooling was going to be paid for.

What kept you going on to become a dental assistant?

The encouragement that I got from my Dad. I was a daddy’s girl and this meant the world for me to make him proud. I wanted to be an inspiration for my family and other dental assistants. I wanted to truly make something of myself. I received a degree in Social Science (Dental Assistant) and has also earned certification as dental assistant.

Do Not Give Up On Your Dreams

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I understand you worked at a very prestige’s teaching institute. Can you tell us about that?

I have been so fortunate to have work in a very special teaching center called LVI (Las Vegas Institution). I was the facilitator for the clinics. We had lectures and hands on courses every day of the week. The knowledge that I acquired there was the beyond any dream as an assistant.

What clinical procedures did you mainly teach?

While at the LVI, I was able to be an instructor to dentist and their assistants on how to use special equipment for occlusal analysis to taking great impressions. I would say that is my favorite procedure as a dental assistant. I love teaching impression techniques and helping the patient to get over those fears of impressioning. Which we know is not one procedure the patient looks forward too.

What has been your best role as a dental assistant of over 39 years?

My career has changes so much from that time and has been a dream. I tell every dental assistant to not give up on your dreams and that you are the only one that can make those dreams come true. I have done just about everything I could ever dream of in my life from a great work experience to meeting wonderful people in dentistry, being on discovery channel, in the newspaper, and becoming a trainer for CPS and teaching other dental assistants across the US and Canada. I can say the best achievement is Schein allowing me to share my story with other dental assistants in a publication dedicated to other assistants out there, being a Dental Assistant is by far the greatest job in the entire world!

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