Dentists: Dr. Rooney
Managers: Selena Lopez, (CM), Sonia Ventura (FM)
Volunteers: Maria Angle, Whitney Huong
X-ray Tech: Alberto Espindola
Procedures: Comp, Ext, Fluoride Varnish, OHI
On the day of the second clinic day, we had Dr. Rooney, a pediatric dentist join us and his work exceeded our expectations! He suggested having a prophy station where a volunteer could do a knee-to-knee dental visual exam, merely checking for obvious decay. If there was, the child would be directed to him and he would proceed with the appropriate treatment. Alberto and Whitney alternated in that station, educating mother and child on proper brushing techniques and need for healthy teeth. It was a wonderful time for Alberto since he understood the need of educating oral health principles within the Hispanic population. The main reason Alberto pursues dentistry is for that main reason so everything he communicated was sincere.
Maria, one of the chairsides was awesome using her past experience volunteering in our San Diego clinics. She worked great with the kids during OHI, procedures, and translating. I believe one of the main reasons clinic ran smoothly was because of her.
Selena grew upon her clinic managing skills, communicating between patients and dentist. She was conflicted between the first-come-first-serve policy medical followed and wanting to treat patients by need. This is something we need to work on that requires educating medical about the importance of oral health trumping order. Asides from that issue, Selena utilized the new whiteboard to list patient’s existing conditions so the dentist could see who needed immediate treatment. Her organization definitely kept everyone updated and proved helpful in having an efficient clinic.
We stayed two hours later than everyone else because Dr. Rooney continued seeing patients until those that were promised to be seen could be seen. He did not get to see everyone but he did manage to see around 13 patients. He saw children first, treating the ones with major need first. He did an extraction and fillings on the first family and then worked on adults while the restorative instruments were in the autoclave. Children were screaming during the procedure but we could close the door to not scare the others in waiting room outside. The family with three girls left learning the importance of good oral health care from the oral health instructions, treatment, activity books, and goody bags. They gave us perspective that they are the reason we were doing all the work for: to educate, prevent, and serve.
Overall, we had a great team that fulfilled their duties to the maximum, saw a maximum amount of patients, and provided fillings, cleanings, and extractions. I was impressed on everyones hard work and I can see that the past cleaning session, two pre-clinic sessions, and past clinic session paid off.
I feel like I’m immersed in the ultimate pre-dental experience as a co-dental coordinator overseeing the development of the Flying Samaritans dental clinic and I’m grateful for that. I can’t wait to have more dentists on board and look forward to more experiences like these. It’s days like those that motivate me and solidify my dream of becoming a dentist because all the work I do directs me toward that direction.