Volume 9 • 2022 • Issue 6

Workforce Challenges: The Dental Assistant Perspective CDA Essentials interviewed Heather Brownlee, Canadian Dental Assistants’ Association (CDAA) president 2022–23, about the dental assisting workforce and her vision for the future of the dental assisting profession. As the Canadian labour market evolves, building and sustaining excellent dental teams remains a necessity for the oral health of Canadians. CDA and CDAA have been working together to help support the dental team and the invaluable work that each member does. Brownlee shares her insights about what dental assistants value and what support they need to enjoy long and fulfilling careers. As well, she explains some of the initiatives that have been undertaken to support a strong dental assisting workforce in the future. Heather Brownlee received her Phase II Dental Assisting Diploma from Red River College Polytechnic in Winnipeg in 1977. She earned her Orthodontics Module in 1984 and Extended Duties in 2003. Q What have you found most fulfilling in your career as a dental assistant? Heather Brownlee (HB): When I started dental assisting over 40 years ago, I was very lucky to work in an office with a great dentist. The 12 staff members all got along; everybody on the dental team helped each other. The office was 17 Issue 6 | 2022 | Issues and People