Amidst the acclimation to online learning, teaching her children at home and returning to campus for limited lab instruction, Lauren Ferri and fellow Dental Hygiene students are moving closer to their goal.
“We have had a long delay and many changes, but everyone has started to find their groove. I’m happy with the way it’s going, and I am thankful to be treating patients,” said Lauren.
At the College’s Dental Clinic, where hands-on training is integral to career success, Lauren joins seven other students or less, according to safety guidelines, as they work on their skills. Before returning to campus, all students were informed by faculty about upgraded building air filters and COVID-19 safety procedures put into place to make health and safety the top priority.
“I feel totally comfortable. Even before COVID-19 we followed strict safety guidelines and were wearing appropriate PPE. The College has done a great job of adapting to the new requirements and has made safety a priority,” she said.
Even before the pandemic, Lauren was finding it difficult to balance the program with being a parent. Then came the shutdown. Feeling overwhelmed, she reached out to her instructor, program director and associate professor Theresa Grady, and withdrew. But with help from her family and faculty support, Lauren decided to continue with her education, a goal she has wanted to accomplish for some time.
“It’s an intense program, but extremely rewarding. You have to work hard and be dedicated. Sometimes it feels impossible, but having the support of classmates and faculty has made all the difference. I am proud of all we have accomplished,” said Lauren.
Learning virtually presented certain challenges at first, but she was able to find benefits as well.
“You have to have self-motivation and good organization skills. But I like the flexibility of recorded lectures. As a busy parent, that’s kind of ideal. The faculty are there to support us, and I don’t feel like I’m on my own,” said Lauren.