When Amanda enrolled in West Coast University’s Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene program, she had no prior experience in the field or in healthcare. But what she did have was a strong desire to work with people.
“I was actually a communications major before,” she shared. “I was working in marketing, but I felt like I wanted to do something that was more hands-on. I wanted to work with people in a more personal way.”
Following a conversation with her cousin, a WCU nursing graduate, Amanda began researching the school’s degree options before ultimately deciding to enroll into the dental hygiene program.
“I didn’t know exactly what I was getting myself into,” she said. “But just being in the program, learning so much, and giving back to the community is something that is really valuable. I’m so glad that I made the decision to switch.”
With over 700 hours of clinical experience under her belt, Amanda said the opportunity to work with patients and perform treatments was exactly what she was looking for in her career.
“A large part of what we do as hygienists is educating patients on how to care for their oral health,” she shared. “It’s been super rewarding, especially when patients come back for maintenance appointments, and they are following exactly what I told them.”
Amanda finished her program at WCU-Orange County as class valedictorian.
“I’m just really proud of myself for all the accomplishments I made,” she said.
Her advice to incoming and current students is to build relationships with faculty members and to be available for classmates.
“Learn from everyone and be open to that, because it’ll make you a stronger hygienist overall,” she said. “Make sure that you are close with the people in your cohort. Put your best foot forward and help each other out.”
WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. 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.