So today was my first day of actual clinic activity. Last Monday, we had a brief intro to the computer system as well as a tour of the clinic. The true unfortunate aspect of this entire experience is that nobody seemed to know what was going on. I was assigned to a D-3 that had no idea I was going to be hanging around her all morning. So really, depending on your partner, the patient, the chair (some are harder to fit an assistant than others).. made the experience great or meh.
Mine was ok. I experienced the less enjoyable aspects of clinic life as our patient showed up late and needed new radiographs. So by the time she was back in the chair (11:30), there wasn’t enough time to do much else aside from take impressions and the extra/intra oral exams. I didn’t get to do anything this time around. We were in the clinics as part of our periodontics class this semester. We have to observe, help out, and send a reflection to our instructors. We also have another component of the Comp Care class that will have us doing a LOT more in the clinics (at least hypothetically).
Despite not getting to do much, I did enjoy interactions with REAL people. Schmoozing is not my greatest attribute, but I definitely was more personable with the patients than I expected to be. They get left alone so often because the student needs to CONSTANTLY get checked off by the instructor..so they spend half the day standing around an instructor waiting to grab them once they are available.
Most of my use was keeping the patient company while the student was off searching for an instructor. Just basic chit chat. The patient next to me actually was getting treatment done that I would have been able to really appreciate – an amalgam. It was awkward watching the patient squirm and vocally protest to the anesthetic being applied..but that is something I will just have to get used to. They also couldn’t apply the rubber dam because she would gag. I never even thought about how unpleasant that thing could be if you are working on the posteriors.
Too tired really to say much else. This first week has been a bit of a blur…and a lot tougher than I was hoping. I pray that is just a side effect of it being ‘the first week.’
I’m going to go cuddle up with my dental decks now, before enjoying some nice 3 day weekend. I’ll update what my schedule is like once I actually figure it out myself.