Knowledge of general anatomy will help a dental assistant excel in their job in many ways. Among other things, it will support dental assistants in educating their clients about oral health as well as give them confidence when working chair side with dentists and hygienists.
Anatomy is the study of body structures and how they connect. For some it might be one of the more difficult subjects to learn as a dental assistant. It requires memorization and might feel like learning another language because of all the Greek and Latin terminology. While learning general anatomy can feel like a daunting task, there are a few tips to make studying for your anatomy classes easier, and maybe even fun.
1. Write Things in Your Own Words
Are you having trouble remembering that ‘incisal’ refers to the cutting edge of the anterior teeth? Try rephrasing the information in your own words. It’s still important to highlight and underline definitions from textbooks and class materials. However, when you express something in your own words it provides a new way to access the knowledge. This strategy is based on the idea that your ability to explain something in your own words demonstrates understanding, which will serve you well on exams and in the long run.
2. Know Your Learning Style
When you do the dental assistant diploma program, you should pay attention to the learning stimuli that work best for you. For example, if you are a visual learner, focus on diagrams or look for videos that show images of the anatomy. If your style is kinetic, it will be important to draw diagrams and write out information yourself. For those who respond to kinaesthetic modes of learning, physical models or even toys you can hold and examine will help move knowledge into place. Finally, if you are an aural learner, saying the information aloud and making a recording to listen to later may be the most effective. It is likely that a combination of styles will work for you.
3. Review Your Mistakes
With all of these study tips, the hope is that you won’t make mistakes on your exams, but nobody is perfect. When you get your tests or assignments back, take a look at where you missed things and remember that mistakes are an opportunity to improve.
4. Make a Study Schedule
An important part of learning anatomy is to do it in a way that makes sure you retain the information. It’s true that you might be able to memorize a lot at once under pressure, but that kind of memorization is different from learning. In order to maintain your anatomy knowledge, you must schedule practice time to repeat and reinforce anatomy lessons. Each time you study, review what you did previously and things will move from your short term memory to your long term memory.
5. Form a Study Group with Your Career College Peers
One of the best things about going to a career college is learning alongside a group of people with similar goals. A study group will allow you to combine resources and will likely increase your confidence for tests. As is the case with other strategies, this may not work for everyone. However, there is an opportunity to share study tricks and tips, flashcards, and moral support. This kind of social learning may help keep you motivated for your own study time because you see others going through the same process.
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