Year 3

Wow. It’s been a long time since I’ve updated here. Hard to believe it’s been over two years!

For those who followed this blog, or come across this blog, I’m still a practicing dental assistant working with the same company I externed with. Still loving it and still learning.

In my two years I’ve become educated in assisting with a variety of dental procedures such as implant placement, varies periodontal surgeries, endodontics, and IV, oral, and nitrous sedation. I even assist with dental procedures with patients under general sedation at local hosptials. Needless to the say, I’ve experienced a lot throughout my career in dentistry and still have the same love and passion for it as when I started.

At the moment, I’m contemplating hygiene school. But we’ll see!

An update.

Two main things I learned during my one week internship:

  • School can’t possibly teach you everything. Actually, I knew this going in, but spending a week at the clinic showed me more clearly that the learning never stops, and that I need to be adaptive in any type of clinic situation I go into.
  • Always keep abreast of the latest dental technology. Equipment and material in dentistry is constantly changing and evolving.

Overall, my internship experience was great. I now know certain areas that I excel in, and areas for improvement. I also realized even more that I’m passionate my budding career in dentistry and I’m looking forward¬† to evolving into an even more knowledgeable assistant.

Whoo!

As of tomorrow, I start my one week internship at a community dental clinic! It’s the same clinic my classmates and I go to every Tuesday so I’m familiar with the way things run, but now it’s really time to hone in on my skills. I’m nervous and I’m excited. But more excited, of course!

Team Work.

As a part of an assignment, I recently shadowed at a Periodontist’s office. It was a very interesting learning experience to view the inner workings of this office and learning about the different periodontal procedures they do on a daily basis. I loved the experience so much that I’m definitely considering interning at a Periodontal office as a part of my specialty internship. (At my school we do internships at a general dental office and a specialty dental office of our choice.)

Of the amazing things I got to witness at this office, one of the things that stood out the most was the team work involved amongst all the staff. Everything at this office flowed so seamlessly because of this. Everyone had their varies roles to perform that day but were more than willing to give each other a helping hand as needed. The results of this was that most of the appointments were able to start on time, the environment was relaxed, thus, the patients were relaxed. In fact, one patient noted that this dental office was the most relaxing and warm that she had ever been to.

At my school we’re are taught that team work is one of the most essential elements of any dental practice. Seeing an excellent example of this in practice is something I will always carry with me going forward in my dental career.

I know, I’ve been M.I.A!

But I have a good reason- school! In these last three months I have learned and experienced A LOT. Since I’m officially on my holiday vacation for two weeks and don’t want to talk too much about school (because my whole life right now evolves around school), I’ll give so brief insight as to what has been going on with me.

  • Finished the xray learning guides (all 13, including many exams and in-school performances) and began interning at the dental clinic once a week taking xrays on actual patients. A little nerve wrecking at first, but I’m becoming more comfortable with it. I’ll be taking xrays until I graduate from the school in the clinic as needed so there will be plenty of time to perfect my skills. So far I’ve done 4 or 5 FMXs and two PANOs and about a handful of PAs and BWXs here and there.
  • After finishing the xray learning guides, I moved on to learning dental instruments, rotary instruments and handpieces, 4-handed exchange, oral evacuation, and dental charting. You caught all that?!
  • Then, I proceeded to learning about Topical and Local Anesthesic application and the dental assistant’s role. ( For those that don’t know this is all about numbing the gums for painless dental procedures.)
  • And currently, I just finished oral surgery procedures. Next, I’m on to learning about sutures.

Outside of all of this, I have also chairsided with a dentist at the clinic three times! Each time I was just told, ‘hey, you’re assistance is needed and since you are familiar with charting, suctioning, and 4-handed, go help out where you can. So very nerve wrecking at first but I loved it. My teacher said I’ve done an excellent job chairsiding thus far despite my inexperience with the sequence of the procedures I was assisting with, which were a composite restoration and two Endo. Luckily all the dentists I have worked with so far were very patient in walking me through the steps when needed.

And that’s that. Can’t wait to get back to school but at this moment it’s time to relax, I have to say I have earned it!

Happy Holidays everyone. See you in the New Year!

Personal goal: I want to be multilingual.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about taking a conversational Spanish course sometime this year. Why you ask? Well, according to the United States Census Bureau, Spanish is the primary language spoken at home by over 34 million people aged 5 or older. There are also 45 million Hispanics who speak Spanish as a first and second language¬† and there are 6 million Spanish students, making it the world’s second-largest Spanish-speaking community, only after Mexico and ahead of Spain, Colombia and Argentina.

What does this mean as a health care provider? It means that the chances are very likely of encountering a Spanish speaking individual in your health care setting. There is also a chance of encountering an individual whose only language is Spanish, and knows very little to no English. Increasingly I’m seeing job ads in health care that require one to be bilingual- usually English and Spanish speaking.

In order to provide the most excellent care possible for Spanish speaking individuals, communication barriers have to be eliminated. My personal goal is to be the best health care provider I can be. If taken classes in a second language inches me towards that goal, I would like to do it. Plus, I think it would be fun to learn. It would be a chance not only for professional development, but personal development, too.

I also want to try to learn Japanese and French!

Photons, atoms, and molecules…..oh my!

It hardly seems like its been almost 6 months since I first started school and I’ve come a long way. From the learning the foundations of dentistry, to the importance of sterilization and OSHA standards, to learning the business side of dentistry ( and a lot of things in between), I’ve learned a lot and there is still more to come.

Now I’m currently studying x-rays as they pertain to the field of dentistry. I’ve already gone over the first chapter (twice) and I can tell this isn’t going to be a walk in the park. I’m not discouraged, just motivated. I’m utilizing the study techniques I blogged about earlier to get me through this. I’ve even found helpful videos on youtube that have helped make sense of what I’m reading (I’m a very visual learner). I can’t wait to get on to the more hands-on stuff, but I have to learn the basics. The basics being the role of photons, atoms, molecules, positive and negatively charged electrons and their role producing x-rays. Yeah, it’s that depth! Wish me luck! I’ll be spending most of this semester learning x-ray stuff.

Let the good times begin. Har har!

What is your motivation?

This video is too cute! I just love it.

Last Youtube video for a while, I promise!

Updates galore.

  • I haven’t updated in a while! School started back two weeks ago after a three week summer vacation in which I spent two weeks living it up in Chicago. I had a blast! But now it’s back to the grind.
  • Currently in my third semester now and learning about taking vital signs and how to assist in varies medical emergencies. It’s a lot of information to digest. In fact, sometimes when I sit back and think about all I have to learn its still slightly overwhelming, but I’m progressing through it. I know I’ll be fine. My flash cards have been working wonders on my memory.
  • Today I had to take the plaque index of an actual patient and present them with oral hygiene instructions. Slightly nerve racking, but I got through it. Kind of fumbled a little bit because I was so nervous but he said he learned something new and would take better care of his teeth with his new-found knowledge at hand, so I would would say my OHI instructions were effective. Hopefully. Some patients need a little extra push to following up on their end of the bargain!
  • That’s all for now. After medical emergencies it’s on to x-ray. I’m hearing from other students that it’s a little bit of a challenge to learn but I love a good challenge. Bring it on!
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