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Aimee Martin DHYG 1431

Journal Entries
1. Think about what you thought a dental hygienist was when you entered the program. a. How has your opinion of your chosen profession changed? b. What do you like about dental hygiene now you know more about what it is? 2. What was your "light bulb" moment this semester? OR What procedure or technique do you feel you were most successful with? 3. What do you feel will be your biggest challenge next semester? 4. How are you going to prepare for next semester and seeing "real patients"? 5. Finally, do you have any suggestions to improve the instruction you have received so far in your education?

Entries #s 12, 13, 14 I believed a dental hygienist was simply a healthcare professional who did bi-yearly cleanings on patients. The only treatments I had done when I went in the past were regular cleanings and polishing. Afterwards, I was seen by the dentist. Now, I feel as though a RDH has much more responsibility in patient health than I ever knew. There are so many links in oral care to overall health care than I ever understood. It seems a hygienist is a first line of defense for discovering so many potential health risks and problems. I think what I like most is the patient involvement. It is very rewarding to know you could potentially save someones life that may otherwise have been lost or devastated in some way. As far as a procedure I believed I did best in, I would have to say I liked scaling. I think I was able to adapt the instruments fairly well for having never used them before. I like the idea of being able to remove something that shouldnt be there and that has an effect on someones health. I am a bit of a clean freak (as in, I like to detail my car) so this is right up my alley. My biggest challenge next semester, I think, is going to be better time management. I am going to have to get a job next semester and I will need to find a way to work that into my schedule, along with studying and community involvement and patient hunting. I already dont believe there are enough hours in the day so hopefully I wont become too stressed. Maybe that will be my biggest challenge instead (trying to tame my stress). Next semester I plan to talk extensively with potential patients to make sure they understand what is involved with being my patient, how many visits they can expect, what outcome they may expect. I have spoken to a few people who have a misunderstanding of what it would be like being a student patient. Speaking to them beforehand will help me get a better idea of how to interact with them once they are in the dental chair and might give me an idea of their health literacy levels. As far as improvement in instruction I came into this program knowing basically nothing and have come out learning so much more than I ever thought I would and I am only once semester deep into this program. I dont think I have room to determine if there needs to be improvement on instruction. I think each instructor provided adequate one on one help in addition to classroom help. I am fairly confident I have done pretty well this semester so I believe things are fine they way they have been established so far. Dont fix it if it isnt broken, right?

I would like you to discuss your experiences while working on the two group projects you did this semester. What were the pros and cons of working with your group? How did the members of your group conduct themselves? Did you feel all members made an appropriate effort to work with the others in the group? What leadership qualities were you able to demonstrate in the group? What "negotiator" qualities were displayed by the group members? Add anything else you found helpful or frustrating while working with your group.

Entry # 11 I believe everyone in our group has their own strengths and weaknesses. Overall, everyone ended up pulling weight equally over the span of both projects. I really enjoyed the group projects. It allowed multiple ideas to be collaborated and added into our discussions. The only drawback was being able to coordinate meeting times that were convenient for everyone around work, family and study schedules. Everyone took equal parts giving ideas or drawing questions or typing up information. There were no arguments within our group about any tasks that were delegated amongst ourselves. As far as leadership, I took on the role of making sure our group was in constant communication with each other and knew what was to be discussed by whom on presentation days. I dont, however, feel I was the only one who did this. I am very happy with the group Ive been placed with and pleased at the presentations we made together this year.
What are your thoughts on "Selective Polishing" and polishing when not necessary? How will you handle this in private practice? What are the ethical considerations?

Entry # 10 I believe the patients oral health is, in part, dependent upon the information we give them. I would rather the patient know the risks and benefits of polishing and when it is appropriate to do so. Polishing can be done if there is an excessive amount of staining that was removed and the tooth needs it to even out the enamel. I dont think it is right to perform a procedure at the patients request if there is a danger to the enamel surface. If it is requested and you believe there is minimal damage involved, I would proceed but only after explaining to the patient that it really is not necessary and it will not whiten their teeth. They need to be explained that whitening can only be done by bleaching methods.

How have your beliefs about your personal oral hygiene (your homecare efforts) changed since you started the program? Describe. Has your involvement in this program had an impact on your family's oral hygiene care...How?

Entry # 9 I still maintain the oral hygiene I had before but now I am more aware of other issues that affect my routine. I now look for abnormalities or question if something doesnt appear to be right. I still brush and floss as normal but I have changed my mouthwash and use it more frequently for added protection. I am also very grateful for the electric toothbrush we received because I feel it cleans much better than the manual toothbrushes I had used in the past. I still use a manual toothbrush occasionally but I have switched to a softer brush head since I was using mediums in the past. I have become a warden at my house to make sure everyone else is brushing and flossing on a regular basis as well. Before, I did not pay much attention to their habits or didnt think it mattered if they missed a brushing. I had no idea biofilm built up so quickly. Ive also tried to cut back on sipping sugary

drinks throughout the day and tried to minimize it to drinking in a short period of time. I honestly had no idea how much was involved in proper oral care.

How about a little self-assessment? At this point in your education, what do you feel are your clinical (radiology and/or preclinic) strengths and weaknesses? Describe at least 2 areas you feel confident about and 2 areas you are concerned about or have issues with. Next, develop a plan to improve your weaknesses and enhance your strengths.... describe your plan in this posting.

Entry # 8 I am fairly confident with using the probe and doing head and neck examinations. Ive been fairly accurate when doing probe depths for dental charting. I believe it is much easier to maneuver the probe than the explorer. As far as the head and neck examinations, I find it an interesting part of a dental hygienists responsibilities and this has made me enjoy it and become somewhat adept at performing them, from a complete beginners point of view. Im nowhere near the level of experience I want to be at but do feel I would notice something if it were not right. Two areas I have issues with right now are using the explorer on the maxillary anterior lingual surfaces and adjusting the headrest properly on the patient chair. I have trouble viewing the teeth in the mirror and directing the explorer in the manner it is supposed to be used and aiming it in the direction it is supposed to go when doing surfaces away. With the patient head rest, it seems simple but I feel I have trouble even remembering to adjust it to help position the patient where I have more control. As far as improving my weaknesses, I will definitely be practicing more with the explorer at home on my typodont. I may try to set up a time with you that is convenient for you so I can see correct hand positioning as well. I also would like to come into clinic early one day with a classmate and practice adjusting the headrest into correct positions. To improve upon my strengths, I will, of course, continue practicing. Im not perfect at probing and still have issues with the maxillary right facial posteriors and using the mirror to read the probe. I would also like to do more research on how to find abnormalities while performing a head and neck examination. The more I know about what is normal, the more I will recognize when something is not as it should be.
This is a "whatever you want to discuss" week. What are your concerns or suggestions, do you have any good ideas, any complaints? What do you think your favorite dental hygiene "role" will be? Educator, clinician..........etc. You have to come up with something at least 5 or 6 sentences and if you say anything negative you have to say something positive to balance it out. Attach a favorite photo of someone in your life.

Entry # 7 I believe my favorite role will be an educator. It is absolutely amazing how much there is to know about how the caries process plays out within the mouth. There are so many different factors that affect it and as time passes, we learn more about different things that change how we care for our teeth and mouth. There are a lot of other health issues that are connected to the oral cavity. I wish to help patients understand the importance of maintaining a healthy mouth for their overall health. I had plans before I started this program, if I were to make it past graduation, I would go back for a higher degree so I could teach. Now, I am even more interested in that path as I learn more about dental hygiene. This is my family in the picture below.

You have all heard the terms "moral code" or "value system". These are the beliefs you live your lives by every day. It is a code of values that guide your choices and actionsthe choices and actions that determine the purpose and the course of your life. State several of the moral codes you have chosen to guide your life and tell me about the person who influenced you most in developing your moral code.

Entry # 6 I have three major moral codes I prefer to live by. The first is honesty. There is no point in being dishonest or deceitful with yourself or others. The second is integrity. You should always strive to do your very best without the influence of distractions. The third is discipline. Without discipline, you will easily stray from the task at hand. My biggest influence is not one particular person, but the lessons Ive learned on my own from past experiences.

Tell me about your experience with "TMOM? The following questions may help guide your answers but please feel free to discuss anything you feel is important. Did any one thing impress you or make an impact on you? Did/do you feel different about yourself or the dental profession after having this experience? Was this a worthwhile community service project? Do you remember any specific patient or did a particular patient have an impact on you?........Why?

Entry # 5 I believe the TMOM experience opened my eyes to the overwhelming number of individuals who do not get dental care on a regular basis. I was surprised at how much effort and organization it took to prepare this event for those individuals. I am very interested in volunteering my services in years to come at events like this to help those in need who are unable to afford care. I cant pick one particular patient because they all touched my heart. So many were grateful for the help and had traveled so far, some as far as Dallas and San Antonio,

just to receive help. Most everyone I talked with was so happy so many people cared for them. It was a very humbling experience to be involved in so many peoples lives.

This week I want you to think globally, outside the box, or think BIG.....or little, depending on your point of view! This will sound a bit like the questions the beauty pageant contestants get but here goes..... If you rubbed the genies lamp and were granted one and only one wish....what would you wish for? That was the easy part....Now, what do you think the impact of that wish being granted would have on 1) your life, 2) your family's lives, 3) the people in your community, and last 4) the future of mankind?

Entry # 4 I would wish for lasting personal happiness. The impact it would have on my life would affect my ability to have a positive outlook on my future. It would allow me to communicate effectively with my family and be a good role model for my children. As it stands, they see a lot of stress from me. If I were out in the community, people would see me convey happiness to them and everyone says happiness is contagious. As far as the future of mankind, the future beings with each and every ONE person. What personal happiness one brings to others is a blessing everyone can give.

How are you all doing at this point? Any problems, suggestions to solve problems you see, ideas for anything? We are always looking for input from students (positive and negative). While you are thinking up some suggestions...... Review the ADHA Code of Ethics for Dental Hygienists in Appendix 1 of the Wilkins book page 1085. After reviewing the entire document, focus on the "Basic Beliefs" (page 1085). How do these basic beliefs relate to what you think of your chosen profession at this point? Do they support your impression of the dental hygiene profession or are they in conflict with it? Explain.

Entry # 3 I think the basic beliefs are a guide we can all adapt to ourselves. We cannot fully provide healthcare to other individuals if we do not maintain our own health. I did not fully realize the extent of how a hygienist could affect the health of others by extra/intra oral examinations and I feel it is a good way to help educate patients and monitor their health for early intervention, if necessary. I would be proud to be able to provide these services.

Remember when you decided to be a dental hygienist.....what did you think a hygienist did? Compare what you thought then to what you think now. What have you discovered about the profession?

Entry # 2

I used to think a dental hygienist simply cleaned teeth every 6 months and took x-rays, as needed for the dentist. At the end of the appointment you got a toothbrush and an appointment to come back. Now, I see we are responsible for educating our patients to help prevent oral diseases and keeping them on track with routine maintenance. We also check on their basic health to monitor changes that may affect future treatments.

Think about what you learned in the OMG course (Head and Neck Anatomy and Histology and Embryology) this summer and talk about what information learned in the OMG course has been helpful in clinic so far. Also, what specific part of standard precautions do think you will have the most trouble with and what do you plan to do to make sure you handle it successfully.

Entry # 1 It has been most helpful, for me, learning the positions and characteristics of the teeth and their numbers. I am able to recognize geographical markers of specific teeth and what characteristic of those teeth allow for certain positioning and maneuvering of instruments in the oral cavity. As far as standard precautions, mine is undoubtedly glove contamination. It is difficult to remember not to set your hands in your lap while waiting to begin a procedure or not to touch anything that may contaminate them. Maybe putting thumbtacks in the elbows of my lab jacket would keep me from putting my arms down? (Just a thought, not really considering that.) I think I will just make a mental note to be absolutely aware of EVERY move I make with my hands when they are not in a patients mouth.