I applied for the Mexico Field School experience because I put so much value on the time I have spent abroad. I find travel both an enjoyable and an educational experience. Additionally, I believe that an understanding of different cultures enables me to be a better, more culturally sensitive dental hygienist.
During clinic hours I was able to integrate my classroom knowledge into my clinical practice. For example, in our winter semester of pharmacology we were given an alternative therapy project. We were instructed to choose a therapy, research it, and present our findings to the class. I found myself wondering how often I would see clients who held these beliefs. Well, during my time at the hospital and at Entre Amigos I had clients who used many of these therapies. One of my clients was so appreciative of the knowledge and background education I had and for this reason I was able to connect with him on a personal level and provide more effective care. I was able to talk to make suggestions that were evidence based while being sensitive of their beliefs. When one of my clients told me I have a “beautiful way of thinking” I couldn't help but appreciate the full and amazing education I have been given at Camosun College.
In order to be successful during clinic time, the entire group had to work as a team. One of my favorite aspects of the Entre Amigo’s clinic is that we set up all of our patient chairs in a circle. This facilitated teamwork and when someone needed an instrument or a break, another student or an instructor was close by to help. I think that this team experience helped prepare me for this aspect of private practice.
I believe that the field school has helped me become a well-rounded and culturally sensitive dental hygienist and I look forward to implementing what I have learned for the rest of my career. I am so thankful of the opportunity I was given to take part in this experience and thankful to the town of San Pancho for hosting us. I can't wait to go back!