It is very easy to say to yourself “I can’t go back to school!  I have a job, kids, husband, and responsibilities. There’s no way it’s going to happen.”  At Caris College we offer night classes and our seats are full with Dental Assisting and Patient Care Technician students just like you.  Learning in class, completing your externship and graduating is possible and in as little as 7 months you can start your new career as a Dental Assistant, Patient Care Technician, or as a Ultrasound Technician !

Here are 7 tips to schedule school in your life with a day job and family.

Schedule everything.
The calendar is your friend. Use the system that will work for you, whether it is a paper planner, wall calendar, bullet journal and/or electronic scheduler.

  • For each quarter of patient care courses, block in the class dates on your calendar.
  • Include travel time before and after class (this could be in a different color, if you like color coding).
  • Block the hours for your day job.
  • Mark your sleep schedule.
  • Schedule time to think and plan.

It may seem like every hour of the day is accounted for, but don’t let this overwhelm you. Five minutes here and 10 minutes there can be very productive periods of time.

Create productive checklists.
Weekly and daily to-do lists can be a lifesaver. Writing tasks on paper or in a phone app will leave you clear-headed. Use the system that works best for you:

  • Plan out your coming week on Sunday; or
  • First thing in the morning, plan out the day ahead; or
  • Last thing at night, plan out tomorrow.

Update your checklist as needed, and use it to keep you on track. Remember that your list is a tool to help you, not just another to-do item.

Get your family on board.
You are preparing yourself for a career in dental assisting or patient care, learning to be earning.

  • Have a family meeting
  • Ask everyone for ideas on how they can pitch in while you are in Dental Assisting class or Patient Care Technician class.
  • Create chore trackers.
  • Look forward to a special outing on a certain date.

Meal prep.
Preparing a week’s worth of meals on the weekend will save time on school nights. The purpose of meal prep is to make life easier for you.

  • Use a slow-cooker.
  • Freeze individual meals to be heated up later.
  • Prep a few days’ worth of salads in mason jars and keep them in the fridge.

Exercise.
A short workout every day is better than none.

  • Take a minute or half a minute to stretch whenever you can.
  • Park your car a bit farther away and get in some extra walking steps.
  • Dance in the kitchen.

Sacrifice.
Whether you are in clinical labs for dental assisting or learning vitals in patient care, there are only so many hours in the day. Instead of cutting out a particular activity, maybe you can reduce the frequency or duration.

  • Spend 5 minutes a day on social media instead of hours.
  • Volunteer once a month instead of every week.
  • Give yourself permission to take a hiatus from any activity.

Compartmentalize.
When you’re in class, just think about class. When you’re having a meal with family and friends, you can be fully present with them and not think about school at all.

  • Plan your days and weeks;
  • Check in with the plans;
  • Grin and bear it;
  • And remember why you have chosen to start your new career at Caris College as a Dental Assistant or Patient Care Technician.

You got this!

To find out when our next night class starts click here and request more information.