Switching To Dental Hygiene From A Different Field Of Study – It’s Possible!
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Switching To Dental Hygiene From A Different Field Of Study – It’s Possible!

Jeremy recently graduated from the APLUS Institute’s Dental Hygiene Program in Toronto, Canada. He has a very interesting story – he started off as a Biology graduate then he made a 180 degree turn into Dental Hygiene. And yes, he successfully passed his board exam. Read on and find out how he made it happen!

Greetings, prospective dental hygienists! My name is Jeremy and I graduated from the APLUS Institute just recently. My story with  StudentRDH entails how I started in DH and why I feel truly thankful to  StudentRDH.

The actual path towards me picking dental hygiene and graduating from an accredited program is a great example of how life can present many opportunities if you open yourself up to them.

Making the switch to Dental Hygiene

Prior to starting studying DH, I had just finished a Bachelor in Biology – one of my favorite fields of study. It was during the last year of my degree that I realized that even while I enjoyed the content, I did not think ahead of how I wanted to apply myself. It was then I learned about dental hygiene, and the more and more I read about it, the more and more that I felt a strange urge to jump into it and apply myself.

The field of dental hygiene allows you to apply and hone yourself on a daily basis to help others while being a foundation and a starting point for specializations and further development in commercial, educational, or research applications. Most importantly for myself, is that it would also allow me to maintain a good balance between professional work and further studies or exploration of other hobbies. The job is fast-paced and busy, and I find it is exciting and in no way boring.

It is worth noting that as a male dental hygienist we work in a female-dominated industry – but this is no matter to be concerned of at all.

“Passion is a universal language that transcends barriers such as ethnicity, gender, and language.”

I have learned from both my graduating class (we had four males in a class of around 17!) and my patients that the rising diversity amongst graduates forms a powerful bond that allows for acceptance, understanding, and a supportive work community that I feel honored to begin contributing to.

There is only more to appreciate as we all learn to work together and build towards a better quality of life for those we care for. This story is more about just how wonderful of a resource that  StudentRDH provides to prospective hygienists.

Study smart, not study hard

I must confess that I was never the best student. In my bachelor of biology, I was not a diligent student and with two semesters left, my grades were hovering from a 50 to 60%. It was then that I really pushed myself and graduated with an average of 80% – to actually change several years of below-average grades to 80% was a grind that left me mentally fatigued.

When I entered dental hygiene, I knew for certain that I could not let this happen again. I have learned that rather than study hard, one ought to focus on studying smart. While some people spend hours a day for months nonstop grinding on their textbooks, I knew I would not be able to maintain an adequate level of focus to do that and still retain information, nor be able to stare at my books or write notes without my brain turning to mush. I needed to find something more efficient, accessible, and modular.

“StudentRDH content is concise, to the point, broken up into topics, accessible on mobile and encapsulates the meat and potatoes of your course content.”

Instead of spending literal weeks burnt out and glued to my textbooks, I simply studied one or two sections of  StudentRDH as well as textbook review questions each day. The goal was to have consistent, focused, but not staggering amounts of daily focus and avoid burnout. I started studying approximately five months before my boards, but by only studying around one hour (or just a chapter or topic) per day (sometimes even less!) with plenty of time before boards, a large amount of content could be covered in manageable, bite-sized portions. With only a month left before boards, I had gotten through the entirety of  StudentRDH and my textbook reviews several times. At this point, I merely reviewed and went over problem areas and mock exams to solidify the information I already knew.

I must praise  StudentRDH for their mock exams and questions – they have a great deal of critical thinking – which was a very, very large portion of the Canadian board exams. When you have to pick between two very similar answers, it can be very tricky, and StudentRDH does its part in giving you realistic challenges in its mock exam questions (of which there are hundreds to do!), and detailed rationales to aid you in understanding why one answer may be better than the other.

Sure enough during the boards, I did not feel nervous or alienated – rather I felt in control and ready to analyze my questions case by case. StudentRDH will help you take everything you learned in school and use it to prepare yourself and have you enter the board exams feeling like a cool operator.  

Author: Jeremy Chan – APLUS Institute

Disclaimer: This article was written by Jeremy Chan and the opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. The author was not paid or compensated in any way by StudentRDH to write this article. The author did not receive any StudentRDH products for free in exchange for this article.

Related Article: Lessons Learned From Students Who Have Recently Passed The NBDHE!

(Disclaimer: StudentRDH is NOT affiliated with the NBDHE, NDHCE, CSCE, CDCA, WREB.)

Written by
Claire Jeong, RDH, MS

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