First Fast Paced Full Day of Clinic - Reflection

Updated: Sep 28, 2020

Today was one of my first faster paced day in clinic, which basically means I had two appointments back to back with no lunch break. This baby dental student is actually dentist-ing now, exciting times. Our morning appointments are 45 minutes delayed due to didactic courses, so we have to be pretty strategic and focused on time management. I had a new patient appointment (called an IFC) in the morning.

A portion of the IFC involves taking radiographs. It was my first time visiting the radiology clinic, first time taking bitewings and a PAN on a patient and first time finishing an IFC from start to finish in one appointment. I’m pretty stoked about that. I also feel like my brain absorbs a textbook worth on information each day, so these reflections allow me to cement some of it.

Each time I interact with a patient, I’m reminded more and more of why I love dentistry. Getting into clinic has solidified how perfect this career is for me. I care, I take my time and I trust myself with my patient’s health. It’s rewarding to see them feel heard and taken care of. There words of encouragement show me I’m on the right path.

Some of the IFC's final paperwork had some technical difficulties, so we didn’t finish until 12:20. By the time everything was cleaned up, got my lab work for the next appointment, and went down to my cube, it was 12:50. I set up my cube, hustled down to eat half an energy bar and got ready for the next patient. I’m used to fasting, so this wasn’t much of an issue. It may indicates that I would benefit from moving my fast time frame into the evening, so that I don’t have to worry about making it for lunch. The caveat is that I want to be finished with most of my "digesting" a few hours before bed. Stay tuned for updates.

My evening appointment was challenging. It involved working with the patient through a myriad of options to come to a reasonable treatment option. Finances, long term health and many other factors needed to be weighed. We are tied to the school policies for financing and also have to understand the patient's financial situation. Hearing a patient out and showing them that you are there to take care of them goes a long way. While we can't burden ourselves with every plight, empathy for our fellow human is important. Every dollar is hard to earn and they are emotionally attached to their appearance. I think we all can relate to both.

I wore my N95 for 8 hours today, which was somewhat uncomfortable. Two masks, a face shield, robe, and head covering also means it gets hot! These are necessary precautions to protect us and our patients.

Overall, another amazing day in dental school.

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