Overall, the oral health facility was a fantastic environment for me to continue growing my skills. Working in a small rural community-based site suited me and I’d strongly recommend it as you gain insight from a different perspective when you’re working rurally. I had exposure to seeing and managing a high load of emergency-walk-in toothache and ‘facial swelling’ patients on a daily basis and was also fortunate enough to see and treat patients from varying demographics, including treating patients from the ages two to 95!
My second placement: a time to learn, grow, and strive toward my potential as a dentist
My second clinical placement was at the Innisfail Hospital Dental clinic for four months. At this placement I experienced a consistent variety of general dentistry; primarily including a high volume of dental extractions and removable prosthodontic cases. With the knowledgeable insight from the resident lab technician, I was able to learn and expand on my clinical knowledge to provide successful removable prostheses (dentures) to my patients. I was also able to participate in General Anaesthesia (GA) sessions in which extensive dental treatment was completed for many children and adults who were not suitable for treatment under normal conditions.
During my time at JCU in Cairns and through my clinical placements, I was fortunate to have been surrounded by such wonderful supportive staff, supervisors and mentors that have helped shape me into the person I am today.
Working in the public sector has taught me professionalism, how to work effectively in a team environment and enhance my interpersonal and communication skills, which are vital when addressing the patient’s needs and complaints. With that, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude to everyone that I have worked with during my time in dental school; the experiences gained have not only enhanced my clinical skills but have also enabled me to learn, grow, as well as strive to reach my full potential as a dentist.