What's happening with dental hygiene students at University of Maryland?

March 15, 2017
RDH Graduate profiles the dental hygiene students enrolled in the program at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

(Would you like to have your DH program highlighted? Please contact Jackie Sanders, Sunstar’s Manager of Professional Relations, at [email protected].)

RDH Graduate and Sunstar provide an opportunity to learn more about the dental hygiene programs and students around the country. This month’s program focus is University of Maryland in Baltimore, MD. Professor Marion Manski, RDH, MS, director of dental hygiene, is hard at work educating 15 first-year and 18 second-year students with a top-notch team of 11 instructors. This type of mentorship and guidance, with a 3:1 ratio of students to instructor, has produced a group of passionate and engaged dental hygienists “in the making.”

We asked Professor Manski why she loved her students so much and what was the one common characteristic of the most successful student/graduate, and here is what she had to say:

“They are dedicated, hard-working, and devoted to the profession of dental hygiene. They are caring and focused on providing the highest level of care in a most professional manner. Our students are grateful they attended our baccalaureate program; the ONLY baccalaureate dental hygiene program in Maryland. The most common characteristic is leadership, assertive personality, collaborative style of delivery of care (interprofessional collaboration), motivation, and love of their profession.”


Other dental hygiene school profiles:


We asked the students a few questions as well. Here are a few of the amazing answers:

Share something GREAT about your DH program.

  • “I love our professors’ enthusiasm for our success and this program. Every professor wants us to succeed, and though they may be hard on us at times it’s for our best interest. The faculty is very caring and listen to our thoughts and opinions. The University of Maryland School of Dentistry has given me so many different opportunities to work with different patient populations, which I feel is a great part of this program!”
  • “In this program, I am never ashamed to ask my faculty for help. I have always been shy about asking for help in fear of being wrong. I know my faculty at UMDSOD wants me to succeed as much as I want myself to succeed. I know I can knock on their office door and ask for help when I feel like I am struggling. I feel like I am in a big family between my students and the faculty. I know everyone around me has my best interest at heart, and I could not ask for anything more going through this rigorous program to become a dental hygienist.”

Why did you choose the field of dental hygiene?

  • “I've wanted to be a dental hygienist since I was four years old. Back then I only thought it was about "cleaning teeth," Having gone through most of this rigorous program I have learned so much more than that! I love the preventive aspect of dental hygiene. I look forward to helping my patients improve their personal home care and build relationships with them.”
  • “Strangely, I have always loved dental appointments; my hygienist specifically made it enjoyable. I was intrigued by her to start my career in dentistry as an assistant. After two years of assisting, I was craving more and pursued my DH degree. I enjoy the preventive side of dentistry, which is why I chose a career in dental hygiene. The dental hygienist often spends the most time with the patient and therefore is someone who the patient asks questions to and has a good rapport with. At the end of my work day, I want to know I have made a positive impact on my patients.”

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?

  • “I hope that in the future I would have established myself in a private practice and made many relationships with my patients. I hope to have made an impact on younger and older generations in improving their oral health.”
  • “In five years I see myself living in a city working in a pediatric office. After working clinically for a few years, I would like to work part-time in public health. This semester UMDSOD participated in Sealant Saturday, which provides sealants to underprivileged children. The families that we treated were extremely grateful, making it even more meaningful. It is the best feeling in the world to me to give back to my community.”

What inspires you the most about DH? What worries you the most?

  • “Ms. Manski inspires me the most about DH. She has such a love and passion for dental hygiene and I feel that I do as well. I want to improve my patient's lives. I worry about working for a dentist who isn't fond of dental hygienists. I want to work in a practice where I look forward to going to work, not dreading my job.”
  • “I have recently become more inspired by dental hygiene in our profession’s fight to be associated with not only oral health, but overall health. I am a big advocate for treating your body like a temple. We know the oral cavity is what we use to provide our body with energy, it only makes sense that it be kept clean and healthy. I am continually learning how the dental hygienist can be a vital part in helping people live a happy, healthy life.”

Kudos to the amazing program at UMSOD.

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