ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day is just around the corner. Whether it will be your first time attending or you’ve participated before, you will experience a whirlwind of emotions, as will many of your ASDA colleagues. Knowing that your peers feel the same way is reassuring — but knowing that puppies feel the same is just plain adorable. Here are eight common emotions you’ll experience throughout Lobby Day, as illustrated by pups.
Lobby days are a fun and effective way to develop relationships with your congressional representatives. The goal of a lobby day is to inform politicians about the issues that affect the dental profession and the oral health of the greater community. Meeting with legislators during a lobby day will hopefully persuade them to vote in a certain way on active bills. But how do you plan a lobby day?
Dear Hidden Figures,
Perhaps you have seen the new motion picture that describes the life of Katherine Johnson, an African-American math prodigy who grew up in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia. She grew up counting numbers and manually computing equations. In 1953 she began working for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), later known at NASA. She joined hundreds of other women as a human computer. Pre-dating Apple or Microsoft, these women helped to win the race to space. As a math computer, she completed calculations for Alan Shepard, John Glenn, the Apollo moon landing mission, and the start of the space shuttle program.
“Adam, stop suturing. You’re bleeding.” A look of terror flushed over me as I removed the needle from the extraction socket. I recalled my patient’s mention of Hepatitis B and immediately panicked. Thoughts of possible co-infection with HIV or Hepatitis C set in. My first sharps injury, and there I stood, helpless and afraid, as I bled from a cut to my thumb.
We learn all about these types of occupational exposures in the classroom. But sometimes, when faced with a real-life situation requiring a rapid decision, it can be hard to know how best to react. While we work carefully to avoid these incidents, they can and will happen. It’s our duty to protect our patients and ourselves by quickly managing and accurately reporting these exposures as they occur.
As May 18th approached, I began receiving the “don’t forget PASS opens” texts from my parents. Like I needed the reminder: I already had nightmares of the application process. One night, I actually herniated a disc in my neck from the stress and insomnia that came from applying. Thankfully, I can laugh at that now.
While my application process was atypical, I feel many of my experiences are relevant to those using the American Dental Education Association’s Postdoctoral Application Support Service (ADEA PASS) and even the Match system. There are plenty of things I wish I’d known or done better, and I’m happy to share them below:
“I brush and floss everyday.” The little white lie heard around the world. It’s hard enough to surface our patients’ oral hygiene habits, and once we do, that only provides a limited scope of their at-home behaviors. When we review social histories, patients quickly deny the use of alcohol, smoking and recreational drugs. But can we take that to be true? If our patients cannot honestly discuss their hygiene regimen, imagine how much harder we have to press for accurate, personal details in regard to substance abuse and addiction. However, as healthcare professionals, we have a responsibility to treat total health. “The ADA Practical Guide to Substance Use Disorders and Safe Prescribing” presents ways to navigate these difficult patient interactions and even recognize those in similar situations among our dental community.
Ever hit that second snooze and wonder how many seconds you could save in the shower, cut down getting ready or maybe just skip breakfast? While the few minutes more of sleep may seem worthwhile in the moment, the empty stomach and unclear focus to your morning routine will catch up to you by noon. I started incorporating “super” smoothies (read: protein) into my morning and found an improvement in my energy levels and performance. With the help of my mom, a personal trainer of 18 years, I hope to inspire you to develop a healthy morning routine that will deliver the same success in the clinic or classroom.