Update from OHU Graduate and Masters Undergraduate Jennifer Tuttle BS, RDH

We are very proud of all of our graduates and do our best to stay in-touch. Some of our graduates like to continue their education and the University of Minnesota online MSDH program is a popular choice. In this latest article, Jennifer kindly sent us an update of her experience. Here’s a link to the programme at Minnesota: Click Here 

Hey everyone!  It has been almost a year since my first post about the University of Minnesota MSDH program experience and I wanted to give an update (Link to Jennifer’s previous article) I am in my last year of the MSDH program. I cannot believe how fast time flies by!

This spring semester I am enrolled in two courses: Thesis – Methodology and Clinical Student Teaching.

Currently, I am working on my Methods section of my thesis. During the holiday break and the first couple weeks of this semester, I researched for an established questionnaire on organizational readiness for change.  Once I found the designed and developed study survey I wanted to use, I needed to modify the survey to my thesis. Pilot testing will need to be done to test the reliability and validity of the survey questions and statement. Along with creating a modified survey, filling out the IRB forms has been a huge task. Thankfully, my advisor and statistician have been great help along the way. Now, I am currently waiting for IRB approval for my study and hoping to send off my electronic survey by the end of April or May. This summer I will be waiting for results and working with my statistician and advisor very closely. Fall semester, I will be working on my discussion portion of my thesis and hopefully defending in December!

In my clinical student teaching course, I am teaching second semester dental hygiene students, so they are still novice learners. My first lesson was on Dentinal Hypersensitivity and my second lesson is on Pit and Fissure Sealants.  I already completed my first “live Zoom” teaching session and will be doing my second one in a couple weeks. It is definitely a different experience being the teacher instead of the student. So many mixed emotions on that first day, but I was happy to be done!

I have 50 minutes to complete my lecture which includes PowerPoint slides, engaging in active learning activities with my students, creating student assessments (that I create and grade), writing self-reflections and much more. After the first lecture, I have the upmost respect for every teacher/instructor of every age and grade. There is so much preparation done “behind the scenes” that I had no idea about. Creating a detailed lesson plan, finding additional resources for students, and creating assessments – It is a lot of work! When I look back at my first lesson, all that hard work paid off. Honestly, I was proud to finish my first lecture, but I still have a lot to learn.  My cohort, instructors, and mentors all have collectively helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses, and how to best improve on my next lecture. We all start somewhere! It truly opened my eyes to what goes into each lecture, each course, and each clinical rotation.

COVID-19 really put a dent in many people’s lives in 2020. Luckily, the program has decided to move last summer’s clinical rotation course into this spring semester. In a couple weeks, I will get a chance to visit the University of Minnesota (for two weeks) and be a student teacher for clinic rotations. I am excited about this! I will be shadowing an assigned mentor for a couple days and then I will be checking the students work during clinic. I am looking forward to meeting all the students, instructors, and my cohort.

Didactic education and clinicals are so different but so important. So far, I am still enjoying this program. It is a lot of work, but it will be worth it!


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