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Success Spotlights

Dental Assistant Lindsay Uses Spanish Speaking Skills to Help Patients

Concorde Staff

Concorde Staff

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Updated October 15, 2023. The information contained in this blog is current and accurate as of this date.
Lindsay Hernandez Castanada smiling and holding prosthedontics

Concorde Career College Garden Grove Graduate Lindsay Hernandez Castanada Uses Dental Assistant and Spanish Language Skills Daily To Help Patients at Camino Health Center in San Clemente, Calif.
 

When Lindsay Hernandez Castanada graduated from high school, she immediately started working as a retail assistant. However, her interests quickly turned to dentistry. Lindsay, whose parents are from Mexico, observed that many people of Hispanic and Latinx heritage do not have access to affordable health and dental care or have difficulty communicating their needs with English-speaking healthcare professionals.

When she was about 21, Lindsay accepted an opportunity to work as a front office receptionist at a private dental practice in San Jaun Capistrano, Calif. Lindsay quickly realized that she enjoyed dentistry, and she began in-house training to assist the registered dental hygienist there. This experience solidified Lindsay’s decision to consider a full-time career as a dental assistant.

Read more about how to become a dental assistant.
 

Spanish Language Skills Add Value

When she was 25, Lindsay enrolled in Concorde Career Colleges’ nine-month Dental Assistant program in Garden Grove, CA. She graduated from the program in June 2022 and then obtained her license to practice as a registered dental assistant from the Dental Board of California. Lindsay is currently employed at the Camino Health Center located at 1300 Avenida Vista Hermosa, Suite 250, in San Clemente. Calif.  Lindsay and the dental team typically see lower income Spanish-speaking patients who range in age from 40s to 60s. Most dental patients of Camino Health Center have dental insurance but may not be able to easily interpret their benefits or treatment options.

Affiliated with Mission Hospital, Camino Health Center is the premier community health center serving underinsured or uninsured residents of south Orange County through locations in Lake Forest, San Clemente, and San Juan Capistrano. Patients are welcomed into a high quality, customer-centric health center and are supported by empathetic, professional staff.

“Here, I am inspired to work really hard to represent the needs of the Hispanic and Latinx patients whom we serve. Most of our patients speak little English. Our dentists at Camino Health Center speak little Spanish so they rely on me and other staff members to help communicate with our patients. As a fluid Spanish speaker, I help our patients to learn about and understand the importance of basic oral hygiene, regular checkups, diagnoses, and treatment plans,” Lindsay said.

“Our clinic provides restorative care treatments and stresses the importance of oral hygiene in preventing tooth decay and periodontal disease that can progress to bone loss. We also have a dentist trained to assist patients with autism and other special needs. Some patients may have heart conditions, anxiety, or other medical conditions – which makes communicating with them more difficult. Assisting in situations like these is both rewarding and challenging. I do my best to calm them and explain what is happening in Spanish. I have learned the power of patience for my patients,” Lindsay shared.

If needed, the Camino Health San Clemente dental team will refer patients to other service providers for orthodontics or other specific needs not addressed at the clinic, Lindsay explained.

Read more about a day in the life of a dental assistant.
 

What Lindsay Likes Best About Her Career and Current Job

The answer: teamwork.

“I thoroughly enjoy working in a team environment. At the clinic, our staff is like-minded, and we want the same positive outcomes and experiences for our patients. I like that what we do is very hands-on and personal. I am pleased that my patients feel comfortable telling me and my co-workers about what is happening in their personal life. As a dental assistant or healthcare professional, each patient affects us differently, and we can make an impact in small or big ways every day,” Lindsay said.

Read more about the duties of a dental assistant.


 

Take The Next Step Towards a Brighter Future

Interested in learning more about our Dental Assistant program? We have a Concorde representative ready to talk about what matters most to you. Get answers about start dates, curriculum, financial aid, scholarships and more!

  1. Program length may be subject to change dependent on transfer credits and course load. Please refer to current course catalog for more information. Concorde does not guarantee admittance, graduation, subsequent employment or salary amount.

  2. Professional certification is not a requirement for graduation, may not be a requirement for employment nor does it guarantee employment.

  3. Financial aid is available to those who qualify but may not be available for all programs. Concorde does not guarantee financial aid or scholarship awards or amounts.

  4. Clinical hour requirements and delivery may vary by campus location and may be subject to change. Concorde does not guarantee clinical site assignments based upon student preference or geographic convenience; nor do clinical experiences guarantee graduation, post-clinical employment or salary outcomes.

  5. Registration and certification requirements for taking and passing these examinations are not controlled by Concorde, but by outside agencies, and are subject to change by the agency without notice. Therefore, Concorde cannot guarantee that graduates will be eligible to take these exams, at all or at any specific time, regardless of their eligibility status upon enrollment.