Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Consider Dental Hygiene at Carolina

Today we're excited to welcome Jennifer Harmon, the president of the Dental Hygiene Class of 2013, here to tell us more about the dental hygiene program at Carolina:

Picture this: You walk through the doors of one of the most prestigious dental schools in the country for two unforgettable years. You attend courses designed specifically for dental hygiene and you get to interact first hand with world-renowned professors, dentists, and dental hygienists. You provide important preventive care to actual patients starting in your first year of the dental hygiene program. You make a difference in people’s lives because you have given your patients quality oral health care and life-changing oral health education.

This is what I have experienced and will continue to cherish during my last year in the dental hygiene program. I look back on my first year and realize how much I have grown as a student, as a person, and as a health care provider. As a dental hygiene student, I have conquered the terms of a dental hygienist and different aspects of preventive care: taking medical/dental histories, blood pressure screening, periodontal screening, home care instruction, prophylaxis, fluoride treatments, exposing and processing dental X-rays, periodontal debridement and periodontal maintenance. These terms were once foreign to me, but with the guidance of great educators and determination, they are now a part of my every-day routine.

Students in the dental hygiene program are fortunate to have such an outstanding faculty represent the profession and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They are educators, leaders in their profession, mentors, and role models, each impacting our lives in different ways. The faculty and staff place an emphasis on creating well-rounded dental hygiene health care professionals who will be able to provide educational, clinical, and therapeutic services to the public through the promotion of oral health. With their effective leadership, I have no doubt that I will be ready to transition in a year from a dental hygiene student to a licensed dental hygienist!

The future role that dental hygienists may play in the health care delivery system makes our profession exciting. I look forward to creating my own path as a Registered Dental Hygienist, and can’t wait to see the results of my work wherever life may lead me. For those of you who may only have the slightest curiosity about this profession or for those of you who strongly feel that this is your calling, I encourage each of you to look deeper because it has changed my life forever…for the better!

For more information on the dental hygiene major, please visit the UNC Dental Hygiene Programs homepage, or email questions to dentalhygiene@dentistry.unc.edu. You may also consider attending one of they many informational sessions scheduled throughout the year for more information.

Jennifer B. Harmon
UNC Dental Hygiene Class of 2013 President