The purpose of the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association is to improve the public’s total health, advance the art and science of dental hygiene by ensuring access to quality oral health care, increase awareness of the cost effective benefits of prevention, promote the highest standards of dental hygiene education, practice and research and to encourage the interests and leadership skills of dental hygiene students.
From 2018-2019, I’ve had the privilege of serving as the President of City Tech’s SADHA chapter. My role in this position and its responsibilities were as follows: I presided at all meetings and activities, managed the progress of all committees, supervised the work of the organization, prepared and organized social and professional events efficiently, implemented the necessary steps to get all events approved by the Student Life Department, was responsible for follow-up on all events, prepared agendas for each meeting and kept communication open between students and faculty. I also utilized this role to serve as a mentor and motivator for my fellow students as well as the incoming freshman class.
During my term as President, I specifically focused on two main goals for the dental hygiene program to benefit the students. The first was the development and implementation of a structured “Mentor-Mentee” program. Although freshman students are assigned a senior student mentor when they enter the program, the intended benefits of such relationship do not always form. Our students are very diverse and have different levels of work and life experience. It is for this reason that I suggested the use of weekly club hours on Thursdays from 12:30 PM – 2:00 PM be reserved for student mentoring. Because students can openly express themselves without faculty members present, it creates an open, comfortable environment in which the freshmen are able to bond with senior students.
The second goal that I had for the dental hygiene program was directly related to increasing awareness of our patient care clinic. With access to over 17,000 faculty members, students and staff, our program is vastly underrepresented within the college community. Besides our biannual toothbrush sales, our SADHA club took advantage of nearly every college-wide event and established a presence, educated the City Tech community about oral health care, access to our dental hygiene clinic, provided oral hygiene educational resources and recruited patients to meet clinical requirements. Participating in these events also served another purpose – it built up the confidence and leadership skills of the students. They learned effective communication skills, professional representation of their clinical knowledge and honed their public speaking skills.