When you start school for any dental career it will be an intense ride! I am speaking from experience with dental assisting, dental hygiene and restorative hygiene. In all three times I found many ways to stay organized and avoid the added stress with being in school. Having an organized system, getting your projects/assignments done ASAP, studying weeks before a test and enjoying some much needed down time helped tremendously!
I see all too often students get burnt out from the stress in school. When you get burnt out, other areas in school; whether it be tests, projects, clinic, or simply being able to stay awake in class will suffer. Students need breaks and they need down time because without these the stress will be too much. There is a fine line though, if you are relaxing all week and not getting any work done you will suffer in a greater way. Failing tests because you 'forgot' to study will give you more work to do in the end.
I had hard times in class and clinic too! Restorative hygiene especially, when I have a difficult patient and didn't feel like 'I did my best work'. Instead of going home and studying or preparing for school the next day I would decide to take a nap or stay in bed watching TV for the rest of the night. This allowed me to recharge for the next day! I maintained an organized schedule so I could take a night off when I needed because I had everything planned out so well.
Good luck in school everyone and remember to take those breaks when needed!
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