All posts by Jessica Walker

SPC Makes Splash at Dental Hygiene Symposium

dental hygiene symposium

Last month, students from St. Petersburg College‘s AS Dental Hygiene program had the opportunity to attend the Florida Dental Hygienists’ Association Symposium in Orlando. This annual meeting is for all registered dental hygienists and dental hygiene educators in Florida and student members as well. Over three days, the symposium hosts many continuing education courses and presentations. These presentations are by nationally recognized experts in the dental health profession. Participants all attend a large vendor marketplace, where new and established products and services are available to see and demonstrate.

dental hygiene symposium

As part of the student activities, a National Board Examination simulation is offered to sophomore students as a low cost in order to prepare them for their upcoming National Board Examinations in the spring. SPC Sophomore Allison Wilson said it was very helpful.

“Being able to participate in a mock board certainly helped me with gauging what I need to focus on for boards,” she said.

dental hygiene symposium

Students held elections and installations for the upcoming year’s Florida component of the Student American Dental Hygienists’ Association officers. St. Petersburg College’s own Staci Carver-Smith was elected President! This will be the third year in a row that an SPC student has held this prestigious office- GO TITANS!

When asked about her new role as the FSADHA President, Smith outlined her goals.

“I hope to expand my personal knowledge on how this organization operates, motivate my peers to become more involved, enhance the awareness on the importance of oral care and be another voice to speak out towards the advancement of this profession,” Smith said.

Smith also served as a student delegate this year, which allowed her to sit in the House of Delegate Sessions. She was a passive participant observing the passing of new policies and amending of current policies and bylaws that govern the Florida Dental Hygienists’ Association. 

Saturday’s Student Day was a fun, interactive and educational conversation with fellow students from around the state on important topics in dental hygiene relevant to their future profession. The keynote speaker, Mr. Harge, began the session with an inspiring message about education being the key to mental, spiritual, emotional, financial and physical freedom. Other special speakers, games, prize giveaways and networking rounded out the day. Past graduates and FSADHA Officers Chante Miller and Jessica Albury were there all day to support SPC students.

Almost the entire freshmen Class of 2021 and a third of the sophomore Class of 2020 were active throughout the day. The evening reception for Student Day ended with SPC winning the 50/50 raffle with over $400 in tickets sold. These proceeds help support FSADHA and our college student club chapter. SPC rocked!

SPC Dental Hygiene Students Do Teach In

SPC Dental

Each November, students from the the SPC Dental Hygiene Associate Degree program participate in the Great American Teach In as part of their Community Dental Health course. This course focuses on the oral health care and education of a population with an emphasis on dental hygiene sciences.

The 34 students presented at ten different schools in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. They spoke to over 450 students, ranging from kindergarten up to 11th grade. Each group of SPC students was responsible for creating lesson plans appropriate to the grade level they chose. The common goal was to advocate for their soon-to-be profession and give information about what a Dental Hygienist does, the type of education needed, and possible workplace options in both private and public healthcare sectors. Daily oral health instructions and guidance on smart food choices were also included in the presentations and customized to the classrooms’ educational and understanding levels. The AS students brought vivid poster boards to help illustrate main ideas, had question and answer segments to illicit audience participation, and employed hands-on activities so that little hands could mimic what they were taught. Power point presentations were presented for the older audiences.

Sophomore Marina Funke spoke to a second grade class, and believed she and her group made a difference that day.

“The teachers and students were interested in what my group had to say about dental health, which made it that much more fun,” Funke said. “Hopefully the children will incorporate what we spoke to them about into their daily routines.”

Another student, Lela Miller, presented to 100 fourth graders. She said she enjoys community service.

“Being able to go out into our communities and educate children on how to properly care for their teeth is so very important and feel honored to be part of it,” Miller said.  Once out of school, I would love to donate a portion of my time on a regular basis to continue serving my community. It is such a great feeling to help others.”