When a dental assistant friend contacted nail tech Jerylyn Curtiss in April of last year to ask if she would consider pitching in part-time at her old dental office, Curtiss thought it wasn’t a bad idea — at least while she was still building a clientele at Salon B in Carroll, Ohio. Her friend described the job as answering phones and scheduling appointments, but Curtiss soon found out there was a lot more to it.

“I handle all the insurance authorizations and paperwork, as well as accounts receivable and payable. I also greet and seat patients and make daily appointment reminder calls,” she says. “My other duties include patient billing, dealing with prescriptions, and tracking and ordering supplies. Occasionally I’ll assist with x-rays and keeping the treatment rooms clean and disinfected. Basically I’m the voice, the backbone, and the initial smile of our dental practice.”

Despite having to wear so many hats, Curtiss enjoys interacting with the patients and sharing all the similarities between the dental world and the nail world. “I explain how acrylic nails originated to both my dental patients and my nail clients. I love seeing their reactions when they learn artificial nails were ‘birthed’ in the dental industry,” she says. “I’m also able to integrate supplies, such as patient bibs (for my table towels), gloves, and face masks, and implement stringent disinfection practices at both.”

Now that her nail book is full, Curtiss puts in three 10-12 hour days at the salon each week and another three days a week at the dental office. “As you can imagine, finding time in my schedule isn’t easy. Planning family gatherings and social events around one day off a week is tough,” Curtiss says.

Still, the sacrifice is worth it, she notes, because time spent at the dental office only enhances her nail career. “My salon clients appreciate my professionalism and my attention to detail — and I love their appreciation. It makes me strive to work even harder for them,” she says.

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