I’m not allowed to say who I treated and what I did, but I am happy to say that I had fun!
Prior to this, we would usually practice prophylactic procedures on each other (nothing invasive) and therefore this was all new to us. The pressure was there as your classmates would be able to pinpoint what you’ve done wrong and then you’d feel like a right idiot for not knowing your stuff. (I feel like a right idiot any other day when my lecturer throws questions at me. The look of disapproval and disappointment on his face kills me.)
But strangely, with a normal patient, the self confidence kicks in and conversation flows (part of the whole ‘professional friendliness’ that we have to adopt.) and you’re happy when you see the patient smiling back at you.
After four and a half years in dental school, I’m not the only one who is starting to feel the enthusiasm seeping out of our souls. Most of us, being the pioneer batch, have completed almost all our theory classes and are merely waiting for the clinics to go on at full speed. And here we are! Just when I started to think if dentistry was what I wanted to do in life. As a first year dental student, I used to be so gung-ho about ANYTHING dentistry related. Like a dental fangirl! OMG TEETH.
I’ve never lied about the reason why I took up dentistry. I wanted something science related (as I’m just crap at subjective subjects), I wanted money, I wanted fixed working hours and I’d rather be communicating with people all day long than staring into a microscope. (An alternative job would’ve been somewhere in the advertising/PR line. But like I said, crap at subjective subjects.) It’s good to know that I’m still on the right path four years down the road. Still doing something I like, which can make my parents proud of me, which can make money, which can be scientific and artistic at the same time. Not an easy combo.
With the University Dental Hospital now up and running, my classmates and I have been given the task of contacting our own patients via the phone at the reception. As professional as it sounds and albeit a little inconvenient, we can’t divulge our numbers to the patients as they might call us day and night to bother us with their problems. So we have to take care of ourselves in that way as well.
It certainly was a nice feeling, ‘kiaping’ the phone with your shoulder and making amendments to the patients’ appointments and going all, “Hello Mr. X. I’m calling from AIMST University Dental Hospital regarding your dental appointment…” while sitting at the reception area. I felt REAL.
I don’t know how to explain this ‘real’ feeling, but as beneficial as all the practical classes we had before this were, finally getting our hands on some real cases made us feel like real dentists.
My dad and mum were quite excited for me too, asking me to read up before I went into the clinics today and also to remain calm at all times.
It might not sound like much to anyone else, but today is a milestone for me. He was my first patient ever and he was a really good patient, cooperating with me and smiling all the way!
We had our first crying kids today too! What better way to officiate a dental hospital, right?