Monday, March 22, 2010

I did it!

In order to become a dental hygienist one must: 1) go to an accredited dental hygiene school and receive a diploma certifying attendance and graduation, 2) take a written and clinical board exam on anesthesia, 3) take a written national board exam on EVERYTHING learned in 2 years at dental hygiene school, and 4) take a clinical hygiene test - meaning clean someone's teeth and have an examiner check to make sure you got all the yucky stuff off.

As most know, I am going to become a dental hygienist, and am well on my way to completing the requirements! I will be graduating from dental hygiene school at the end of April, and will receive my diploma! But, really, school isn't all THAT hard. So #1 was pretty easy to accomplish. Requirement #2 was a little different, however. This past Thursday was our anesthesia exams. We had both the written and clinical the same day. Most of the girls in my class also took this test the same day as me.

Here's how it went down...

We stayed at our teacher's house the night before (she only lives about 15 minutes from where the exam was) and just relaxed and had some cafe rio. In the morning we had a big breakfast and drove to Weber State University, where the test was taking place. The written exam was first and consisted of 55 questions. You had to pass with a 75% in order to continue on and take the clinical exam. It was a quick hour to take the test and then a stressful 15 minutes of waiting to find out our scores. Luckily, we all passed!!!

We went to get some lunch and calm our nerves for a little while since we all had our clinical exam in the afternoon. I was actually the last person of the day to perform the clinical portion (I would estimate maybe 40 - 50 girls taking this exam that day).

In the exam, you have to perform two different injections, two of the hardest to give, in order to prove your ability to give anesthesia. I went in and set up my chair and had my patient waiting. The examiners came over and I started the first injection. No problem. They said I could go on to the second one. I started the second injection, and was almost half way done when they said to "STOP AND HALT" I knew that was bad. They made me wait while they deliberated. They came back and told me to dismiss my patient. I knew I had failed. I got my results, and sure enough, I had passed the first but failed the second injection.

Now, if you fail, you have the option to repeat it that day, for $120 that is. I decided to do it. I had to find a new patient to perform my second injection on and fill out all the paperwork again. I was pretty flustered at this point knowing that I had failed, paying $120 bucks, filling out paperwork, finding a new patient, being the last person of the day, and having everyone, LITERALLY EVERYONE, waiting on me so we could all go home, including the examiners. I tried to calm myself, and luckily everything went as planned the second time and I passed. What a day!

But the good news is that I am now certified to administer local anesthesia in a dental office, and I'm half way to completing all the requirements to finally be done with school and start making money!! Here is a picture of all the girls that took the exam with me and our success memo.