I tutor students and we always spend time prior to our sessions venting and discussing still-in-school-struggles. Rude instructors, rude students, 8 tests and projects to work on in one week, failing grades, the threat of being kicked out...ah!
We’ve all heard the stories from nurses and medical students, having to work like crazy and prove themselves on zero sleep. Everyone wants to be the best of the best and are willing to do anything to showcase their skills and talents. Classes, homework, tests to study for, projects to work on, patients to prepare for, clinical exams to pass, instruments to sterilize, and oh yes, eating and sleeping somewhere in there. Well, for dental hygiene students it's almost the same...
This is usually all in the first year! Maybe even the first semester depending on how your program is. There is no such thing as “It’s only the first week of school, not a lot of work to do”. The first week of school for dental hygiene students mean to take the time to prepare and study for those 5 tests you have next week. If you slack off, well you just might fail.
Failing a class after your first two tests? You may have one more chance if you’re lucky, to go forward to the committee to plead your case. Your personal life? Your parents are going through a divorce, you’re getting into the study routine, zero sleep because you have to work every night after school to AFFORD the program, and oops you managed a 69% but need a 70% to pass. If they don’t agree with why you failed, out you go! Half your money that you’ve already paid for the program isn’t refunded and you are out of there. They could care less about personal struggles.
Is that stress? Heck yes! But, all of that doesn’t matter because as a dental hygiene student you need to do it all with a smile on your face. If you don’t, you appear weak and it will only bring you down further. The instructors may not “appreciate your attitude” and IF you ever need to plead your case (because you’re failing a class) your ‘attitude’ will be the final decision and because you show lack of enthusiasm you are OUT.
I tutor dental hygiene and dental assisting students online not only because I love to teach, but I do it because I want to provide support. I want to be there when students come to me crying from the stress and need help to pass a class. I have been there and done all of that. I have been through some crazy stress when I went to school. Crying everyday wasn't foreign to me.
The FIRST time I went to dental hygiene school (yes, I took the program TWICE), read my article here, my parents were going through a divorce around the same time clinic was starting. I was having a hard time to begin with, debridement DID NOT come naturally to me and I had a difficult time removing calculus interproximal. I had to sign up for extra help (didn’t come cheap) because if I didn't I would have failed. Yes, I am an adult, but divorce is hard for anyone. I had that at the back of my mind, having to stay at school until 6pm everyday for my extra help in instrumentation, and all the while needing to study to maintain our 70% average.
A friend of mine - her grandma had passed away, who was like a mother to her. That didn’t matter’ to our school educators because it was the time of the clinical exams and she was already barely passing. She wasn’t allowed to take additional time off because if she did, she would fail. She needed all the help she could get. Imagine, having to do a good job while your grandma just passed away. ALSO, knowing the instructors didn’t care doesn’t make it any easier. Oh wait I forgot, she was allowed to take time off to grieve but she would miss her clinicals and would need to take THE SEMESTER OVER…for an additional cost of course. Fair? I think not.
I could go on but I don’t want to depress you readers too much :). So, do you think you’re alone in feeling this way while going through school? You are NOT ALONE. Does everyone appear to be smiling, happy, and always in a good mood in your class? Trust me, they are barely scrapping by. What helps? You need a great support system. Get together with some classmates for study groups and have ‘venting’ sessions to discuss your troubles in school. Also, I hate to stay it but you DO need to adjust your attitude. Try to see the positivity in anything. When I was in school, thats what I did. I constantly thought - “This is NOT forever, I made it in here and I will make it out.”
Develop study plans and routines. Kick studying in the butt! Show your instructors you can and WILL push through no matter what. School is your time to learn and get all you can out of your instructors. Study before classes, ask questions during class time and really show your dedication. You will be SO proud of yourself in the end!!
I took the dental hygiene program twice (haven’t read that article yet, I explain what happened here), and I sure as heck wouldn’t want to take it again. I always feel a sense to nurture when a new student signs up with my program at Dentalelle. I literally want to reach out of my computer screen to hug them and let them know I am here for them.
Are you still in school? Check out the Dentalelle Student Program here, I offer support, mock exams, teaching videos, previously recording sessions, online tutoring, and LITERALLY any help you need while in your program. You can also email me anytime if you need my help. You sign up and get full access until you graduate, easy and less stressful.
Need a few laughs - check out Dentalelle’s YouTube video’s here,
Sorry if this article depressed you but always remember you can and will do this! Read these last few paragraphs and get motivated for tomorrow’s class. Show those instructors you got this!!
If you haven't started your portfolio yet, you aren't the only one! I was audited several years ago and had the best of intentions. I planned to start my portfolio in January and work at it a few hours every month. Fast forward, and what did I actually do? I started my portfolio in November and worked like a crazy person to get it done before Christmas. I couldn't get it done before Christmas and worked on it until about December 29th...AND SEND.
Why couldn't I get it done before Christmas? Well, because I love Christmas! I didn't want to miss out on the christmas shopping, christmas decorating, christmas baking and family gatherings! Who wants to be stuck at home, papers everywhere, working on their portfolio? Not me!
So, it's November now and I want to show you how you can get your portfolio done in ONE MONTH. Yes, even if you haven't started. It's entirely possible with the new SMILE portal system. We had to write the typical day out by hand when I was audited, now you don't have to. This will literally save you about 5 hours.
I do offer a Portfolio Workshop which is a full course valid for one year. I upload two new webinars each month to add to your continuing education, provide goal examples and learning activity examples each month, guide you on chapters to read in your textbook, and offer teaching videos! Also included is access into a private facebook group to network with others AND a free portfolio review by me at the end.
In the meantime, get started with these ideas to get that portfolio of yours done in one month:
1. Want free continuing education?
Go to www.vivalearning.com and browse the webinars they offer. All free and you can watch them anytime. You can take a test afterwards as proof that you watched the webinar. You can take as many as you want for your hours.
2. Open a textbook
Open any textbook you have and read a chapter! Make detailed notes on that chapter and furthermore browse online for that topic and research some more. Reading and browsing online will be at least two hours of continuing education. Free again!
3. Set aside time
The key to getting all this done in a month is to set aside time. Whether it be 5 hours every Saturday for a month, or one hour everyday until it's done, set aside time that works for you.
Those three things are easy to get started right now! If you need some help you can reach out to me or check out Dentalelle's Portfolio Workshop where I guide you every step of the way!
My name is Andrea Twarowski, owner and operator of Dentalelle Tutoring.