Tips From Current D.D.S. and Dental Hygiene Students

Words of Wisdom from a Dental Hygiene Graduate

Posted by Joel Bautista on February 25, 2022

My dental hygiene program was very rigorous, in addition to dealing with the worldwide pandemic that occurred midway into my training. It was stressful and overwhelming with the uncertainty of COVID-19, but I gained insight into my character. I felt accomplished because I managed my time and I focused, and that paid off for me. It was all manageable as long as I did the work and did not procrastinate on assignments, sacrificed and reached out for help when needed. Most importantly, my classmates and I helped each other to get through the demanding program. We figured out that there was no need to compete against one another, but only compete with ourselves to do better.

My dental hygiene program was accelerated, so the material and course work came at a faster pace, but all the instructors emphasized the crucial information. Basically, they went straight to the point. Every instructor had a specific skill or background in dental hygiene that made them stand out. If there was a topic of concern and that needed better clarification, there was always an instructor who could help. From ergonomics to radiographs to local anesthesia, you could always find a subject matter expert as an excellent source to get through the problem. My program provided a lead instructor to guide us as we transitioned from junior to senior year and provided mentors in case we needed help or just needed to vent. I found that reaching out often and early was the key to succeeding in this program.

Furthermore, I was prepared to succeed in all state exams and become licensed, by instructors who continuously highlighted the critical facts and offered written and mock clinical exams. My program made sure we were ready to pass before having us take the actual licensing exams.

I felt supported and prepared for the workforce before I graduated. I was guided through transitioning from student life to my dental hygienist career. My program prepared me to land a job. For example, at least two months before graduation, they helped us write great resumes and provided mock interviews with a dentist and hiring agencies. Once I finished my last state exam to become licensed, the program’s Career Services supervisor assisted me in getting an interview in a matter of days. I landed employment in two dental offices in the same week.

Lastly, just be cool with everyone and have a good sense of humor. Try to make the environment calm and make your peers chuckle unexpectedly!

About Joel Bautista:

Joel Bautista Student_headshot

Joel Bautista
Dental Hygine Graduate
West Coast University

Joel Bautista is a West Coast University dental hygiene graduate. He has 12-plus years of experience working as a dental assistant by providing patient care, building rapport, listening and performing honest work in the dental field. He acknowledges that every day is a learning experience and every minute spent in the dental environment is an opportunity to further expand his knowledge and technique. In his spare time, he enjoys cruising in his car and appreciates the scenic views, watching movies at the theaters and spending time with family and friends.