Touching the future of the dental assisting profession: Meet Amy Applegate

September 15, 2015

As a Dental Assistant Program Director and Dental Assistant Instructor in Indianapolis, Amy Applegate is proud to deliver a solid education to her students.

In the first of what will be a continuing series for Modern Dental Assistant, we take a look at an Indiana dental assisting instructor who is making an impact on her students.

As a Dental Assistant Program Director and Dental Assistant Instructor in Indianapolis, Amy Applegate is proud to deliver a solid education to her students.

To her, providing the resources that prepare her students with knowledge of the most current trends and the most up-to-date technologies in the dental industry is most important. Applegate has been in the education field for eight years and she’s worked in several different states in that time. She is grateful for her students, new and old, and her ability to watch them grow both personally and professionally.

“There is nothing better than handing our students their diplomas on the stage at graduation,” she said. “You meet these students at orientation and are with them at least 20 hours per week. You see them hurt, you see them struggle, you help them through life’s situations, but you also get to see them grow into these amazing professionals. It is quite rewarding and fulfilling.“

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While Applegate is proud to provide a top-notch education to her students, it can be a challenge to make sure they have access to every single tool necessary for success. In order for her students to graduate as well-rounded dental assistants who are competent enough in their knowledge and practice to pass their national board exams, she has to stay on top of trends in the industry constantly in order to ensure her students and their individual learning styles are accommodated and supported.

“I have a true passion for what I do,” Applegate said. “I had an amazing experience in dental assisting school and I am very proud to say what school I graduated from. I want our students to feel the same way. I want all aspects of their schooling to be a positive one. I want them to plant their trees for success and watch them grow. I hope I have played, and will play, an integral part in their career accomplishments.”

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One of Applegate’s constant goals is to be a positive role model for all of her students. She believes that as a role model who is able to show her students, in person, that drive and passion leads to success that they will learn from her both in and outside of the classroom. Her program is very organized and it is structured so that her students are challenged with every lesson.

“My parents always taught me to work hard and to never take no for an answer,” she said. “They taught me to be very respectful and to work hard for what I believe in.  They showed me to be compassionate and understanding. I have learned that nothing in life comes for free. Work hard for what you have, and be grateful.”

When it comes to advising her students, Applegate hopes each of her students keep their priorities in order as the embark on their journeys in dentistry. She also hopes they keep things in perspective, and that they realize that everyone has a first day in a new career, and that it is OK to ask for help.

“No one is perfect,” she advised. “You can’t learn if you don’t make mistakes. Keep going, and never stop learning."

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