Amanda Lee has always been a “people person” with an interest in health care, but she didn’t always know where and how the two would intersect.
After two years in an applied human nutrition program, she found herself wanting something more hands-on, so she welcomed an opportunity to spend a day shadowing a dental hygienist.
“The hygienist had a way about her that made the patient feel like she wasn’t even in the dental chair,” recalls Amanda. “It was something I could see myself doing.”
Three years later, Amanda is graduating with a Bachelor of Dental Hygiene and it’s safe to say she’s all smiles about it.
Her decision to enter the field was reaffirmed throughout her studies at Dal. She was the recipient of numerous academic awards, including the Keating-Bekkers Award in Dental Hygiene. The award, named after its benefactor and Dal alumna Susan Keating-Bekkers (DipHD’91), supports a student who shows exceptional promise, outstanding attributes and interest in the profession of dental hygiene.
“It’s probably the one I’m most proud of,” she says. “It made me feel like I was really meant to do this.”
For Amanda, one of the most rewarding aspects of the dental profession is working with people and providing individualized, patient-centred care. “Every patient and situation is different,” she explains. “I once had a patient who was visually impaired, so it was important to focus on his sense of touch when communicating proper home care.”
Educating her patients on the importance of oral health and its connection to overall health is a top priority for Amanda. After spending some time in private practice, she plans to return to the Dal clinics as an instructor and eventually, continue her studies to become a professor.
“I feel like this is home for me. I don’t know that I’ll ever fully leave Dalhousie.”
This article is part of our series of profiles on the graduates of the Class of 2015. These profiles are also published in the Convocation Keepsake which is distributed at Convocation ceremonies. For more information (including live webcasts), visit the Convocation website.
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