Cheaper dental services available on April 11 and 14
By Katie Czenczek, Staff Writer
How pearly are your whites?
On Wednesday, April 4, a total of 165 elementary school students from Fraser River Middle School and École Qawqawt came to Douglas College to receive dental services from Douglas College dental assistant students. The clinic offered dental services such as tooth polish, sealants, fluoride, and x-rays for $10, with the services being provided by students in the program. Scaling is provided by dental hygienists who are currently in practice.
Stacey Rhodes-Nesset, program coordinator for experiential quality and clinic operations at Douglas College, explained how the clinic works in an interview with the Other Press.
“It’s always been an annual event in the winter semester to recruit patients into preventative care,” she said.
Rhodes-Nesset also said that the clinic is a great opportunity for dental assistant students to have hands-on training during their studies.
“It’s very important for these students to have clinical learning experiences as an opportunity to integrate their theory knowledge and skills they’ve learnt in simulation,” she said.
She also feels that it is a win-win for dental assisting students and the community.
“The clinic’s focus is on patient safety and quality patient-centered care in a supportive learning environment,” Rhodes-Nesset said. “Preventative dental clinics are important to students as a whole because they can learn about the importance of oral and general health, [and] ways to prevent dental and gum disease.”
When asked if the clinic would be able to provide services to those needing more advanced care, Rhodes-Nesset said that they still can be looked after.
“We do our best to accommodate all patients, and we know reduced fees can help give access to preventative services. However, if we’re unable to meet a patient’s needs, we’re able to make referrals to other low-cost dental clinics in the area.”
Morgan Hannah, a Douglas College student, said in an interview with the Other Press that she feels that the clinic could do with additional advertising.
“The intent was a good idea, but I think that there should be more frequent booths and posters to promote the services,” Hannah said. “That way, more [students from Douglas] would attend.”
Hannah also highlighted that she, personally, would love to attend the clinic.
“I am in need of dental work badly. The first thing you notice about someone is their smile, so good dental hygiene is a must,” she said.
Another Douglas College student, Lekhika Mehra, suggested ways that the clinic can gain more awareness in an interview with the Other Press.
“The same way that the DSU displays posters for pub night, they could also promote the dental clinic.”
Mehra also discussed how discounted services can greatly benefit Douglas College students.
“Going to the dentist is way too costly. Being a student, it’s hard to be able to afford that, and these services could help those who aren’t covered.”
Nigel Tulut, a Douglas College student, also agreed that there should be more advertising for the clinic.
“I only ever found out about the clinic from walking through the one hallway that advertises it on my way to class. Maybe they should have it on the front page of Douglas’ website, or more posters around the campus,” he said in an interview with the Other Press.
He also highlighted the other ways that a lack of student attendance at the clinics might impact the college.
“I can see it being a waste of money if students aren’t going to the clinic,” he said.
The clinic is paid for by the Dean of Health Sciences, Pamela Cawley, and the Douglas College Senior Management Team.
Rhodes-Nesset admitted that “it’s expensive” to run the clinics, but that giving back to the community is important.
“The community partnerships we have with the elementary schools are important, and we have had a long relationship working with these patients,” she said.