Better as a Clinician and as a Person – Natalie Coffman

This was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Jamaica is a beautiful country and the people of Jamaica are amazing. They are welcoming, kind and happy. I feel like I gained much more than I have given.

On my second day out in the field I had a fifty-year old man that had never had his teeth cleaned before and I had the pleasure of doing his first cleaning. On that same day I had a beautiful young woman come to me as my patient and every piece of plaque and or calculus that I took off she thanked me. She did not thank me once; she thanked me after every piece. She was so grateful. I came only hope that I impacted the Jamaica people’s lives as much as they impacted mine.

I was there for only a short amount of time but I learned so much from the experience. I know I am better as a clinician and as a person because of this trip. Another fulfilling time during this trip was when we stopped at the schools and visited the children. These children so loving and they would just come up to you and hug you and talk to you. They were so sweet and receptive to what we were telling them about their oral health and I have never seen children so excited about a toothbrush and toothpaste.

I am grateful for this experience and inspired to continue helping people in my community and in other counties. I want to help as many people as I can in my lifetime. What an inspiring study abroad experience with St. Petersburg College.

-Natalie Coffman

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