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Calling all members to call on all non-members: ADAA needs your help to build association membership.

We know who they are. We work with them every day or we network with them on a regular basis.

We all have friends and colleagues in the dental assisting profession who are not members of the ADAA for one reason or another. Which raises the question, "Why not? Why aren't they members of the ADAA?" What are some of the reasons preventing them from holding membership in our professional association? Let's take a look together, shall we?

I can't afford it ... it is too expensive. My question is, compared to what? Being a member of any professional organization has its expenses and in the economic times of today, we are all very sensitized to finances. However, take my dues for example. I live in California, where everything is more expensive, and yet my dues come out to 45 cents a day. That works out to be $13.75 a month, which now seems more manageable. The great thing about the ADAA membership is that you have the option to pay in a variety of ways:

* Pay in full-with either a credit card or by check

* Pay in half-with either a credit card or check.

* Pay monthly. If you pay with a credit card, debit card or through your bank account, there is the option of monthly payments.

Regardless, there are options to help make your ADAA membership payments more affordable and more convenient. Many other associations do not offer any payment options for dues.

There are no activities or meetings in my area. Were you ever a Brownie, Girl Scout, Cub Scout, Boy Scout? Do you remember how it just took you and one friend to get excited and before you knew it, someone's mom or dad was committing to be a scout leader? That is the key. It just takes two of you to get excited, develop momentum and start something wonderful. As a member, the ADAA has a wealth of resources for meeting ideas, "how to get started" guides and financial support available to recruit members. Don't forget your ADAA district trustees who are trained and at the ready to be of assistance as well.

The truth is these obstacles can easily be overcome if one sees the value in being a member of their professional association, by being a member of the ADAA. Does it require an investment of money and maybe some time? Yes, it requires money to be a member, but the time investment is dependant on what you personally expect to get out of your membership. Is it worth it? It has been said about many things that "You only get out what you are willing to put in" With membership in the ADAA, you receive much in return. Here are just a few of the benefits our members enjoy:

Professional Liability Insurance Add to your security as a dental assistant with this member benefit.

Broaden your knowledge with education--Free unlimited online continuing education for ADAA members. Take advantage of the extensive ADAA library of courses, which contain current and up to date information on a multitude of subjects.

Networking--Opportunities online through Facebook, LinkedIN, Twitter, Foursquare and through state, local and national meetings, conferences and events. There is nothing more helpful than personal and professional connections. Networking can introduce you to other influential individuals by widening your personal and professional network, which is a large part of participating in a professional association.

Best Practices--Our online newsletter, 24/7, provides opportunities to learn about breaking news in your field, learn new ideas, hear about key achievers in the profession, and meet to brainstorm with others who are also looking to share and learn new information.

Resume Boosting--Membership in your professional association indicates that you take your career seriously. It shows dedication of your personal time to your professional growth. "Professional Associations" as a section on your resume is both eye-catching and important in today's business world.

Online job and resume postings--Take charge of your career. This is a great tool to find specific job postings. Additionally, there are career resources available such as tips on effective resumes or cover letters, and job searching strategies to members. ADAA's online Career Center has it all.

Conferences and meetings--Opportunities are available for members to participate in national, state and local courses, conferences and workshops. Members are often given priority registration for their organization's convention and may receive discounts on conference fees or special rates.

Publications--Include online publications, newsletters and the Dental Assistant Journal.

Politically savvy--Stay abreast of federal and state legislative developments that impact the dental assisting professional.

Leadership--From a committee to a council to a chair to the executive board, opportunities are available for you as a member. Whether it is national, state or local involvement in civic and philanthropic ventures, you can become involved in many worthwhile projects. The ADAA contributes to communities in a variety of ways, from providing scholarships and hosting career days for students to supporting important charitable causes.

These are just a few of the benefits our members enjoy. Ask any member what he or she values in ADAA membership and the answer will include the importance of relationships that are established and nurtured.

Please don't get me wrong, the information, the education, the publications and the insurance programs are all important. However, the mortar that sticks us all together is the relationships, the friendships, the networking, the support that is developed through our memberships. Consider this: For pennies a day, you can make a difference to yourself personally and professionally, and you have an opportunity to make a difference to the profession of dental assisting. Are you worth it? I think so. Still not sure? Ask a member. Members will tell you, "Join today! You'll be glad you did!" Go to www.dentalassistant.org for your member application. Joining has never been easier--just complete your online application and start the )Tear with the choice that will change your life forever. Congratulations and welcome to the ADAA!

Here are a just a few testimonials from new and long term ADAA members:

"I really enjoy being a part of the ADAA, to be a part of the community and know what is going on across the world and within the dental society. Being an ADAA member has allowed me to be involved in changing and making new decisions for our future."

Cametra C., member since 2011

"I am an ADAA member to support our association, to keep up ort all current laws passed and how it benefits me as an RDA, and to keep current on all news."

Liz S., member since 1986

"I am excited to be an ADAA member. My career is very important and the ADAA keeps me up to date on all the changes and positive information."

Mary N., member since 2008

"I enjoy being an ADAA member because it allows me to congregate with others in the dental field. I gain a lot of knowledge and wisdom from my fellow members."

LaToya J., member since 2011

"Being an ADAA member has given me the information, updates and community needed to stay updated in my profession. The world of dentistry is constantly changing and being a member keeps me informed."

Valerie D., member since 1986

"I am a member of the ADAA because it gives me a way to be connected with other dental assistants in my area."

Janice B., member since 2005

Shari L. Becker, CDA, RDA, FADAA, is Twelfth District Trustee and the ADAA Council on Membership Chair. She is a resident of Concord, Calif., and has been an ADAA member since 1986.
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Title Annotation:Membership Matters; American Dental Assistants Association
Author:Becker, Shari L.
Publication:The Dental Assistant
Article Type:Conference notes
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2012
Words:1267
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