At the beginning of the term I reflected on my successes and downfalls from the previous term and developed goals. My first goal was to complete the assessment portion of patient care in one appointment by the end of the term. I was able to accomplish this goal right away, and with almost every patient I saw, which I am proud of. My second goal was to accurately chart restorations, using detailed surfaces, and other dental appliances. Again, I was able to achieve this goal and as a result became much better at dental charting.
My final goal was to detect and remove calculus at 75% accuracy, which I was also able to accomplish by the end of the term. Strengths and Weaknesses Strengths I would say a strength of mine is assessment; I feel comfortable with each component and am continuing to get better with every clinic and patient experience. I can probe a patient with 100% accuracy and am confident in what I am doing, which led me to receiving 100% on my skill evaluation for probe technique. I was also able to complete dental charting on all my patients correctly and without help.
Last term I had a difficult time distinguishing between a composite and an older sealant; however, this term I have figured out how to distinguish the two. Another area I feel is a strong point for me is professionalism. Despite the fact that I personally knew all my patients this term, I was able to be their friend as well as their dental provider. As a result, I gave each patient the best possible care I could and they viewed me as a professional health care provider. My last strength is taking radiographs. Last term I took a CMRS on a patient and it didn’t go well.
I wasn’t able to finish because I couldn’t get proper placement and my patient was extremely uncomfortable. Additionally, it took me almost an hour to take half the images of a CMRS. This term I took another CMRS on a different patient and it was a much better experience. I was able to take all the necessary images with only a few retakes and it only took me about thirty minutes. While I could still use improvement, I am proud of this growth and progression towards competency. Weaknesses One major weakness of mine is interpreting radiographs, especially caries on radiographs.
It is extremely difficult for me to detect caries on my own and I sometimes struggle after the caries is pointed out to me. This is something I definitely plan to work on next year, with more learning and practice. Another weakness I have is calculus detection. Although I was able to achieve my goal, I am not consistently accurate when it comes to detecting calculus. I have a hard time differentiating between tooth structure and calculus, which is also something I will work on next year and with more practice I believe I can make this a strength. The weakness I came across this term was patient completion.
There were many factors beyond my control that contributed to me not completing all my patients, however, I need to have a back-up plan in place for these sorts of factors. Plan for Improvement This is only the beginning of my journey in the Dental Hygiene Program and I am more than determined to become the best dental hygienist I can possibly be. I believe that with more clinical experience I will be able to improve my skills and convert my weaknesses into strengths. I understand that I am responsible for my learning, and I take full responsibility for my successes and failures.
However, the only way I can continue to become better is through more learning and practice, which is exactly what I plan to do. I will continue to learn new things through my instructors and peers, and I will use what I learn to improve my skills. Patient Experiences Patient A My first patient was a 22-year-old Asian female who was six months pregnant when I saw her and an ASA II, due to an allergy to penicillin as well as being pregnant. Through assessment, I came to a dental hygiene diagnosis of ADA I or AAP IA2a3a, also know as pregnancy-associated gingivitis.
Additionally, she had light calculus generalized throughout her mouth and was a clinical difficulty level A. This patient was great practice for me because she had rough tooth structure and small pieces of calculus. I ended up detecting her calculus at 74% accuracy and removing at 72% accuracy. This patient’s treatment plan consisted of an adult prophylaxis, polishing, and application of fluoride varnish. Unfortunately, I failed to provide patient education for this patient, which was a lost opportunity because there was so much I could have educated her about.
Patient B Patient B was a 21-year-old Asian female who had no allergies and was taking no medications, which put her at an ASA I. I determined this patient’s dental hygiene diagnosis to be ADA I or AAP IA1, also known as gingivitis associated with dental plaque only. This patient had light generalized calculus throughout her mouth and moderate calculus localized to the lingual surfaces of her mandibular anterior teeth under her lingual bar, which made her a clinical difficulty level A. I detected this patient’s calculus at 97% accuracy and removed at 95% accuracy.
I performed an adult prophylaxis, polishing, and application of fluoride varnish on this patient. Additionally, I gave her oral hygiene instruction (OHI) for brushing and flossing, as I had noticed her plaque/biofilm accumulation was around the gingival margins and she had noted that she rarely flossed because it was difficult for her. Patient C My last patient was a 27-year-old Caucasian female, with no allergies and not taking any medications, which put her at an ASA I. Through assessment, I determined this patient’s dental hygiene diagnosis to be an ADA I or AAP IA1, also known as gingivitis associated with dental plaque only.
Additionally, she had light to moderate calculus on just about every tooth, which put her at a clinical difficulty level B. Unfortunately, I was unable to finish this patient, but I have planned for her to receive an adult prophylaxis, polishing, sealants, OHI for brushing and flossing, and application of fluoride varnish when she comes back next year. Competency For this term, I am on track for competency in regards to patient difficulty. Although I only saw ADA I patients, that was the level I was expected to see this year. Next year, I will broaden the difficulty levels of my patients and see patients with more advanced disease.