Placement has been an enjoyable and rewarding experience. I’ve been able to provide a service to patients to relieve them of their pain and allow them to smile with confidence.
Since first year I have completed observational and clinical placements at the JCU Dental Clinic in Cairns and multiple sites across far north Queensland. In 2018, I also arranged an observational placement in California, USA. This was a great learning experience as I was able to closely observe treatments such as crowns and implants. I was also able to learn about the similarities and differences between the healthcare systems.
In my final year, I completed placements at the JCU Dental Clinic in Townsville and the Townsville Hospital and Health Services, North Ward Campus. I have thoroughly enjoyed the rotations I have been able to complete, treating primary school children in the dental van, managing patients with special needs and completing treatment under general anesthesia at the hospital. This has certainly broadened my knowledge and experience of the various fields within dentistry. By completing more than 2200 hours on placement, I have gained invaluable hands-on experience and look forward to providing services to rural and underserved communities.
A highlight of my placement has been interacting with paediatric patients. A memorable patient was a child who required multiple dental visits for his treatment. Upon returning to the clinic for his appointments, every time without fail he would run to the dental chair in excitement. One day after completing treatment, I asked what he would like to do in the future and with a beaming smile he said he wanted to be a dentist because he always had so much fun during his appointments. From this I realised the positive impact I can have on children. In the future I hope to continue creating a positive and fun experience for paediatric patients and eliminating the negative stigma associated with visiting the dentist.
Attending conferences, networking events and being involved in student clubs has also been a highlight of my time at JCU. Through these opportunities I’ve met like-minded passionate peers and professionals. I have held leadership positions in students clubs such as JCUDSA (James Cook University Dental Students Association) and RHINO (Rural Health in the Northern Outback) which have enabled me to further develop my teamwork skills and organise a variety of events for my peers.