Dental Hygiene: Personal Experience and Career Goals

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I have been interested in the dental hygiene profession since high school. Throughout high school I completed multiple project and research papers on oral care. Some included the importance of x-rays, maintaining healthy teeth, gums, tongue, and the issues that result from improper care. I’ve studied the factors, prevention, and treatment of possible diseases. Currently I am a pre-health professions major at UC Blue Ash. I have completed all prerequisites, have taken four and am now enrolled in two general education courses needed for a dental hygiene degree.

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The most influential courses I have taken have been anatomy and physiology, and intro to health professions. In anatomy and physiology I learned the structures and functions of the human body. In my intro to health profession class I learned about the professionalism in health care and was partnered with other students interested in dental hygiene to complete a presentation of dental hygiene responsibilities. I’ve also spoken with and shadowed many dentists and dental hygienist. Each communicated the obligations, expectation, and what it takes to be successful in this field. This was a helpful tool because, I personally viewed patient care and what it would be like to be a dental hygienist.

My whole life I’ve excelled in school. The majority of my grades were A’s if not B’s. It was not until my first semester of college that I had ever really struggled with learning or completing an assignment. I was not use to spending so much time reading, studying, or trying to comprehend.

I took four classes my first semester, which made me a full time student. During this time I did not drive so I had to rely on my friends and family to get me to campus on time every day. I also live an hour away which meant I had to wake up at five-thirty to make sure I had enough time to get to campus for my eight A.M. classes. I felt defeated and that I was not capable of living my everyday life and maintaining my grades while still understanding what was being taught. Eventually I learned how to manage my time and put forth the effort in my classes. I realized that the reason college seemed so overwhelming wasn’t because I wasn’t capable but, because it was different from what I was used to and it wasn’t easy.

To be successful in this program I will show up every day, stay organized, manage my work, have a positive attitude, and focus on learning rather than getting good grades. I believe the first step to being successful is showing up and being on time because it shows effort and your appreciation for being there. I also think that being organized and managing your time makes your task more manageable. Having a positive attitude pushes you to achieve your goals and makes life enjoyable. I plan on devoting my time in and out of class to study, participate, take notes, and reflect on my actions to make sure what I am doing helps me achieve my goals.   

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