ADHA Access January_2014 : Page 18

make the job tough, but Lopes insists that the results are more than worth the efforts. “It’s a tricky job, as there are always “There are several aspects that several barriers that have to overcome, but it are comforting when working is certainly a work that we do with all of our with patients with special dedication and professionalism.” It may seem like Lopes is stretched thin, needs, but above all it gives pulled in many different directions each me great joy and happiness.” day, whether it’s hospital work, community service or association work. But he sees —Carlos Lopes, RDH connections between his many different jobs, connections he hopes other dental hygienists make in their careers. “I think it is important to combine clinical practice with community practice, because or most individuals, a career is something they choose, this way it is possible to reach a larger target for pa-most likely picked out of a long list of potential jobs a stu-tients, and work in the various aspects that are within our dent advisor handed to them during their freshman year profession. Both are important and should be worked in of college. After taking a few courses, they either stick collaboration.” with the school of business program, or try their hand at This edition of Working was prepared by Josh Snyder. Q microbiology. For others, a career is a calling, something that chose them long before they even thought about how they were going to spend the rest of their life. As, Carlos Lopes, diversity continued from page 17 RDH , tells it, dental hygiene was a calling. GHQWDOLVVXHVZLWKSDWLHQWVLVJUHDWO\LQÀXHQFHGE\WKH “My profession has a large focus on prevention of oral practitioner’s failure to connect the patient’s cultural val-diseases, and we can get to patients in order to motivate ues as they relate to the importance of dental treatment. them,” Lopes said. “We simply have imagination, and a de-Another important role diversity plays in the dental sire to do more and better, so we can improve oral health.” hygiene profession is that it gives minority patients a role Lopes is a 2005 graduate of the dental hygiene edu-model that they can strive to emulate. Minority patients cational program at the University of Lisbon, which is the often have no professional role models that can inspire largest school in Portugal. Shortly after graduation, he them to set lofty goals for their future careers. Outside of started sending his CV out to local clinics, and was eventu-sports, many young minority patients are not exposed to ally interviewed by a psychiatric hospital. visible professional people that they can aspire to emu-”I went to several stages of interviews, and I was the late. Personally, I receive so much positive energy from chosen one, to my great joy and happiness.” minority patients because they can see themselves in Since then Lopes has divided his time between the hos-me. As they witness me practicing dental hygiene, these pital and a community clinic. He spends two days a week minority patients can envision lives full of possibilities at the Hospital Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, where because they realize that any goal is accomplishable with he helps patients presenting with oral disease, as well as hard work and dedication. Being able to be an inspiration teaching them how to decrease the risk of further disease. to my patients, both minority and majority, is my greatest Lopes said that the patient population at the hospital is personal accomplishment. unique, and can sometimes provide a challenge. Moving into the future, it is vital that the dental hy-“These patients are all female, and have various psy-giene profession recognizes the role that diversity will play chiatric disorders, from schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, in meeting dental care needs. Diversity should be a topic depressions,” he said. in both dental hygiene clinical work and dental hygiene Although working with patients with special needs can education. By striving to diversify the dental hygiene EHGLI¿FXOW&#0f;/RSHVVDLGLWLVZHOOZRUWKKLVWLPH profession, we are better able to develop solutions to any “There are several aspects that are comforting when problem that might prohibit patient care. working with patients with special needs, but above all it gives me great joy and happiness. To see the smile of patients, because patients are suffering a lot with diseases References they have, and all that we can do to give them the joy of living, it is always welcome. This will give them more and 1. U.S. Census Bureau. State and County QuickFacts: 2011. 2012. better social inclusion with the world around them.” Available at: www.quickfacts.census.gov/qf. When not working at the hospital, Lopes helps out at 2. Onik E. Missing persons: African Americans in dental hygiene. J a local dental implant clinic, where he uses his skills to Dental Hyg. 2009; 83(2): 62-68. treat periodontal diseases, maintain implants and to teach Justin J. Oliver, RDH, BSDH, MAEd, works full-time as a prevention. clinical registered dental hygienist for Louvenia A. Rainge, Outside of his hospital work, Lopes is closely involved DMD, in Augusta, Ga. He has been practicing for nearly with the Portuguese Association of Dental Hygienists. four years, He is a 2010 graduate of the Medical College of Since 2009, he has been part of their board, and admits Georgia (now Georgia Regents University), School of Allied that the association struggles with visibility and respect. Health Sciences, Department of Dental Hygiene where he One of their major projects is an annual national congress, is currently a volunteer clinical adjunct. A member of the which offers courses on various topics related to dental American Dental Hygienists’ Association, Oliver is currently hygiene, as well as continuing education. The amount of the president elect/program chair of the Central Savannah River Area Dental Hygiene Society. ■ work, combined with the lack of visibility, can sometimes F 18 JAN 2014 access

working

Carlos Lopes

<br /> "There are several aspects that are comforting when working with patients with special needs, but above all it gives me great joy and happiness."<br /> <br /> For most individuals, a career is something they choose, most likely picked out of a long list of potential jobs a student advisor handed to them during their freshman year of college. After taking a few courses, they either stick with the school of business program, or try their hand at microbiology.<br /> <br /> For others, a career is a calling, something that chose them long before they even thought about how they were going to spend the rest of their life. As, Carlos Lopes, RDH, tells it, dental hygiene was a calling.<br /> <br /> "My profession has a large focus on prevention of oral diseases, and we can get to patients in order to motivate them," Lopes said. "We simply have imagination, and a desire to do more and better, so we can improve oral health."<br /> <br /> Lopes is a 2005 graduate of the dental hygiene educational program at the University of Lisbon, which is the largest school in Portugal. Shortly after graduation, he started sending his CV out to local clinics, and was eventually interviewed by a psychiatric hospital.<br /> <br /> "I went to several stages of interviews, and I was the chosen one, to my great joy and happiness."<br /> <br /> Since then Lopes has divided his time between the hospital and a community clinic. He spends two days a week at the Hospital Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, where he helps patients presenting with oral disease, as well as teaching them how to decrease the risk of further disease. Lopes said that the patient population at the hospital is unique, and can sometimes provide a challenge.<br /> <br /> "These patients are all female, and have various psychiatric disorders, from schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, depressions," he said.<br /> <br /> Although working with patients with special needs can be difficult, Lopes said it is well worth his time.<br /> <br /> "There are several aspects that are comforting when working with patients with special needs, but above all it gives me great joy and happiness. To see the smile of patients, because patients are suffering a lot with diseases they have, and all that we can do to give them the joy of living, it is always welcome. This will give them more and better social inclusion with the world around them."<br /> <br /> When not working at the hospital, Lopes helps out at a local dental implant clinic, where he uses his skills to treat periodontal diseases, maintain implants and to teach prevention.<br /> <br /> Outside of his hospital work, Lopes is closely involved with the Portuguese Association of Dental Hygienists. Since 2009, he has been part of their board, and admits that the association struggles with visibility and respect. One of their major projects is an annual national congress, which offers courses on various topics related to dental hygiene, as well as continuing education. The amount of work, combined with the lack of visibility, can sometimes make the job tough, but Lopes insists that the results are more than worth the efforts.<br /> <br /> "It's a tricky job, as there are always several barriers that have to overcome, but it is certainly a work that we do with all of our dedication and professionalism."<br /> <br /> It may seem like Lopes is stretched thin, pulled in many different directions each day, whether it's hospital work, community service or association work. But he sees connections between his many different jobs, connections he hopes other dental hygienists make in their careers.<br /> <br /> "I think it is important to combine clinical practice with community practice, because this way it is possible to reach a larger target for patients, and work in the various aspects that are within our profession. Both are important and should be worked in collaboration."<br /> <br /> This edition of Working was prepared by Josh Snyder.

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