Regina Gentry went back to school for a lot of reasons, but she returned to West Coast University for only one.
“West Coast is a great school, that’s why I came back,” she said.
Gentry graduated from WCU-Orange County’s dental hygiene program in October 2012. Now based out of Dallas-Fort Worth, Gentry has worked as a dental hygienist for the past six years. This May, she completed the master of health administration online degree program and flew to Los Angeles to receive her hood at the Center for Graduate Studies.
What inspired you to pursue an advanced degree?
I just feel like for my children, I want to set a really good example. Also for my parents, it’s a big deal; but then for myself, I just feel like there’s so much more of me to offer and so much more for me to learn.
Why did you choose WCU’s MHA program?
I like sharing with people new innovative ways to take care of their health and hygiene, educating them on how that’s important, but then at the same time I love teaching the younger assistants and hygienists that come in and work in our clinic as well. With my MHA, I can work both in the clinic hands-on, but also have that administration side.
What’s the best thing about being a dental hygienist?
I really like working with patients and seeing how they evolve from when you first work with them. In dental care, it’s cosmetic sometimes but in the end, their self-esteem, personality, everything changes. We’re also providing a service for them that they were unaware they even needed. Just the gratification of that – I love it.
Has there been a moment where you knew you made the right career choice?
When I was 5, my mom had a crooked tooth and I always told her I was going to fix it. One of the highlights of my career was being able to put braces on her and then have her as my patient and clean her teeth. My parents are my patients now. That’s very rewarding.
What did you like about WCU?
Even though it’s a large university, they make me feel like it’s not. I also feel like West Coast kind of pushes you just a little bit more as far as what they require from you, which is nice because when you graduate you feel like you’ve pushed yourself to the limit. And they do it in a way that’s caring. They don’t beat you down. They just encourage you to do the best that you can.
The sky is the limit. With healthcare administration you can go anywhere and do anything, so I’m excited to see where it takes me.
WCU cannot guarantee employment. Programs vary by campus. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.