DDS through Intersession

Our DDS students were back in the clinic and simulation labs for Spring and Summer semester. They were all happy to be back for their patients.

Jessalyn King - 01 September 2020

Nicole Robins and Reid Boulet, DDS class of 2021, speak of their experience. Nicole says, "Not being able to provide for my patients during the COVID closure was a horrible, helpless feeling. The pandemic has made me realize just how much I am obsessed with dentistry and keeping my patient's chompers chomping."

Reid says he was a little worried about being back at the clinic because such a large portion of our patient base is over 65. However, after looking through our new infection prevention protocols, he says, "Ronna and the team in charge of PPE at the University of Alberta have always done a great job of having proper PPE to help protect us, and their work was very reassuring."

They had several reasons to be glad to be back, including:

  • "We are all in this career to help the patients, and it was hard for us to not be involved in their care during the pandemic."
  • "Three months away from the clinic is an intimidating amount of time not working on your hand skills."
  • "Studying in solidarity can be effective at times, but nothing beats being inspired by intelligent and supportive leaders and peers."

The new "four-handed dentistry" approach for the students will also take some getting used to. Reid says, "Sometimes we feel we are missing out on first-hand practice as the co-learner. But we are learning from our partner's practice and still getting clinical experience. We just need to be open-minded and help each other to learn."

They both say they've heard nothing but gratitude from their patients. Nicole says, "Patients previously skeptical of preventive dentistry are now very appreciative of its role in their overall health."

We're happy to have you back to take care of our patients. As Susan Helwig, Clinic Supervisor, Orthodontics Graduate Program, says, "We're here to facilitate the student's learning, so without the students, this spring was quiet and lonely."