News about Dental Hygiene

A World Away, Students Make Do … and Make a Difference

Penn College students gather with schoolchildren in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

On the steps of a school in Las Terrenas, Santo Domingo, Penn College students join a group of teachers and administrators. The students conducted clinics in four schools in four days at Las Terrenes.

Jenna N. Tippy, a student from Langhorne, outfits a curious child with gloves, glasses and face mask to be her “helper.”

The students provided their young clients with Penn College backpacks, courtesy of the Admissions Office.

Pretty in pink: Instructor Rhonda J. Seebold snapped a photo of students with children whose outfits just happened to be a perfect match to the students’ bright lab jackets. The students were providing sealants.

Students in Penn College’s dental hygiene bachelor’s degree major made a summer stop in the Dominican Republic, where they provided free dental services to between 250 and 300 children in underserved neighborhoods. The students first visited the town of Las Terrenas, on the northeast coast, where they spent four days providing free dental clinics at four schools before traveling south to Santo Domingo, the nation’s capital, to serve a school there. A highlight of the trip happened in Santo Domingo, where the students’ accommodations were within walking distance of the school in which they would establish a clinic. On their way back from the school, with supplies in hand, the students came upon a dirt alley where small children were playing. “Some of the students sort of dropped everything and started playing with them,” said Rhonda J. Seebold, part-time instructor of dental hygiene, who led the study abroad trip. With the help of Seebold’s son, who speaks fluent Spanish, the children’s parents excitedly accepted an offer to provide fluoride treatments to the children, and the students went about setting up a clinic. “Part of what I teach the students is that you make do with what you have,” Seebold said. While in the Dominican Republic, Seebold estimates that the 12 students treated about 75 children a day. The students were enrolled in a summer elective course called International Oral Health Care Experience.
Photos provided

Nursing Students Visited by Versatile Health Sciences Grad

Alumna Trena Dale returns to Penn College.

With help from the Alumni Relations Office, the Penn College Student Nurses’ Association recently hosted alumna Trena Dale. Dale has received two associate degrees from Penn College: a dental hygiene degree in 2001 and a nursing degree in 2011. Dale, now an emergency room nurse at Evangelical Community Hospital, a part-time RN in Geisinger’s Special Care Unit 5 and, occasionally, a substitute dental hygienist, spoke to nursing students about her experiences as a Penn College student, as a new graduate seeking employment, and about her career in dental hygiene and nursing. She shared stories related to her professional role that highlighted the importance of developing relationships with patients, engaging in teamwork, and paying attention to details when communicating in health care environments. “Of course, Trena also took time to share information about the importance of mouth care for patients in the hospital,” said Tushanna M. Habalar, instructor of nursing and SNA adviser. “Trena’s positive demeanor, real-life stories and energy were appreciated by the students and faculty who attended.”

Emergency Scenarios Translate to Real-Life Benefit for Students

Occupational therapy assistant student Rachel N. Zimmerman, of Pine Grove, shows physician assistant student Zachary S. Kimble, of Bellefonte (acting as a hip-replacement patient who later in the simulation would have a stroke) and other students watching how to use a “reacher” to help with dressing. Observing is Christine A. Tilburg, clinical director of physical therapist assistant.

Emergency medical services student Ian P. McClure, of Littlestown, and paramedic technician student Megan E. Bobby, of Dysart, explain the actions they would take when called to the Dental Hygiene Clinic to help a patient experiencing an allergic reaction to Novocain.

Surgical technology students simulate a laparoscopic gall bladder removal.

Around 250 students in the School of Health Sciences – an academic division that spans 11 distinct health care and allied health fields – are participating this week in a series of hands-on emergency health simulations. The school’s fourth annual Interdisciplinary Professional Event involves 24 student teams, each made up of a cross section of health disciplines, discussing and observing one another’s role in their assigned case. Students in the physician assistant major played roles of patients, whose health problems ranged from an allergic reaction to Novocain in the Dental Hygiene Clinic to a loss of consciousness in the Keystone Dining Room, and surgeries to replace hips and remove gallbladders. As “patients” moved through the health care system, they moved, with their observers, from lab to lab in the Breuder Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center. The purpose of the experience is to prepare the students to deliberatively work together as patients interact with each of them during their health care experience, with an ultimate goal to improve patient care. Also involved were 23 staff and faculty from the school, who planned and managed the event and led groups through their simulations on Tuesday and Thursday.

Online Learning Options at Penn College Offer Enhanced Flexibility

Penn College offers a beautiful, modern campus in Williamsport, but for students who need the flexibility of online programs, the college provides a variety of options.

Pennsylvania College of Technology is renowned for its “degrees that work,” and for those needing additional flexibility to attain a degree from the college, online options abound.

Online learning at Penn College offers more choices to students who are balancing work and family responsibilities. The offerings feature the same academic rigor and accreditation as on-campus programs, but there is no requirement to ever attend class on the campus in Williamsport. Online students may choose to enroll full time or part time.

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Alumni Sweethearts Enjoy VIP Service on Campus

As winners of the sixth annual Alumni Sweethearts contest at Penn College, Robert and Megan (Miller) Brightbill enjoyed an overnight stay in the college’s Victorian House and dinner in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.

Two graduates who work as educators in Harrisburg returned to their alma mater recently as Pennsylvania College of Technology’s 2017 Alumni Sweethearts.

Robert A. and Megan L. (Miller) Brightbill said they were treated like VIPs during their visit, which featured an overnight stay in the college’s Victorian House and dinner in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant as winners of Alumni Relations’ sixth annual Alumni Sweethearts contest.

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2017 ‘Sweethearts’ Chosen From 11 Alumni Couples

This year's Alumni Sweethearts: Megan L. (Miller) and Robert A. Brightbill

Congratulations to Megan L. (Miller) and Robert A. Brightbill, winners of Penn College’s 2017 Alumni Sweethearts contest. The Harrisburg couple met at Penn College in the early ’90s and have been married for 22 years. Robert is a 1992 building construction technology graduate and Megan earned dental hygiene degrees in 1993 and 2001. As part of the sixth annual Sweethearts contest, the Brightbills received 292 votes (or “likes”) for their photo on Alumni Relations’ Facebook page. Ten other couples vied for the honor. Megan and Robert will return to campus soon to enjoy dinner for two in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant and an overnight stay in The Victorian House. Watch PCToday for more coverage of their visit to campus.

March 25 Event to Offer Free Preventive Dental Services to Children

Free dental care – including sealants, fluoride varnish treatments, education and screenings – will be available to children ages 7-15 on Saturday, March 25, when Pennsylvania College of Technology will be a host site for the Pennsylvania Dental Hygienists’ Association’s Sealant Saturday initiative.

Sealant Saturday events are held across the state. The Penn College event will take place 9 a.m. to noon in the college’s Dental Hygiene Clinic, which is in Room 227 on the west wing of the Advanced Technology and Health Sciences Center.

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Low-Cost Dental Care Available in Penn College Dental Hygiene Clinic

Kayla M. Brensinger, a dental hygiene student from Altoona, works with a client in Penn College’s Dental Hygiene Clinic. Services available to the community include cleanings, exams, sealants and X-rays.

The dental hygiene clinic at Pennsylvania College of Technology provides preventive dental care at a nominal cost not only to Penn College students and employees, but also to patrons from surrounding communities.

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Brushing Up on a New Dental Hygiene Clinic

Penn College dental hygiene students are applying their extensive hands-on skills in a newly renovated clinic. The 5,300-square-foot facility, dedicated in late September and featured in a video on college’s YouTube channel, features advanced technology and continues the college’s tradition of offering low-cost dental care to the community.”The clinic has made an amazing transformation. It’s modern, state-of-the-art,” said Alexandra D. Petrizzi, a dental hygiene: health policy and administration concentration major from Langhorne. “I walked in and a big smile came on my face!”

Donated Pink Gowns Help Focus Attention on Breast Cancer

Dental hygiene students, colorfully cloaked as special agents for awareness

Students completing rounds in the Dental Hygiene Clinic showed their support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month by donning pink gowns during the week of Oct. 10. The gowns were donated by Matt P. Branca, director of The College Store. Other Breast Cancer Awareness-related activities have included a bake sale hosted by College Health Services and Sigma Pi, informational tables in the Bush Campus Center and at the Madigan Library Reference Desk, and a Wear Pink Day for employees on Oct. 7.

Penn College Dedicates Technology-Driven Dental Hygiene Facility

Abigail S. Way, of Montoursville, who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene: health policy and administration concentration, reviews features of new workstations in Penn College’s renovated Dental Hygiene Clinic with Dr. John Hayes and Dr. Sharon Hayes, who have served as supervising dentists for the clinic.

Pennsylvania College of Technology hosted a dedication ceremony on Sept. 29 to celebrate its renovated Dental Hygiene Clinic.

The clinic is the hub for hands-on learning in the college’s dental hygiene majors and provides low-cost dental care for the community.

“Having the joy of ‘living through’ three dental hygiene clinics on this campus is quite a milestone,” said Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour. “I am so proud of this new and improved facility. ‘State-of-the-art’ does not do it justice. It’s beautiful, functional and technology-driven – a great addition to our campus.”

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The Whole Picture

Cindy Spinello, '84. Photo courtesy of John Gardner, The Lewisburg Studio

Backed by her husband, Greg, right, and former Gov. Tom Corbett, Spinello speaks at the signing of the Pennsylvania Breast Density Notification Act.

From the Fall 2016 Penn College Magazine: Reeling from a late-stage breast cancer diagnosis, Cindy Spinello, ’84, pushed for legislation that could prevent the same outcome for others. Read “The Whole Picture.”

Students Bridge Miles Through Smiles

Melissa K. Stabley, of Williamsport, incorporates a simple art project into her health fair station.

Jenna N. Tippy, of Langhorne, interacts with several children – and a parent.

Emily J. Langendoerfer, of Honesdale, is all smiles with a group of children.

A group of students pursuing bachelor’s degrees in dental hygiene: health policy and administration concentration are in the Dominican Republic this week as part of an elective course, International Oral Health Care Experience, taught by Rhonda J. Seebold, part-time instructor of dental hygiene. The students spent Monday and Tuesday in the town of Las Terrenas and are on their way to the city of Santo Domingo. “We had a health fair Monday; tons of kids came,” reported Seebold (who also provided the photos). “We had a long clinic day yesterday. The students loved it!” The students are working with dentists and schools in the Las Terrenas and Santo Domingo communities to provide preventive dental services and dental health education to underserved groups.

Faculty Member, Family Serve Community Dinner

Barbara K. Emert-Strouse (right), and her family, including May culinary arts and systems graduate Scott L. Neff (with hat), join forces in the kitchen of Christ Episcopal Church in Williamsport to serve a free meal to the community.

Barbara K. Emert-Strouse, assistant professor of dental hygiene, was joined by her family, including Scott L. Neff, a May culinary arts and systems graduate, in serving a free dinner for the community recently at Christ Episcopal Church in Williamsport. The “Pay It Forward” dinner began as a class project for students in the college’s Community Dental Health course and has evolved into a volunteer project for second-year dental hygiene students and Emert-Strouse’s family. The church offers a free meal for the community on the first Saturday of each month, and Emert-Strouse and her family provided the groceries and the manpower to prepare and serve the May edition.
Photo provided

Health Sciences Students Learn From One Another in Simulations

During a three-day set of emergency simulations that involved 320 Penn College students, Timothy F. Schwartzer (in hat), an emergency medical services student from Bensalem, explains to students in other health sciences majors how paramedics would begin treatment for a patient – played by a volunteer actor – who had fallen from a second-floor balcony.

Because a patient experiencing a health emergency will likely be cared for by many health care professionals with differing specialties, Pennsylvania College of Technology has taken an active approach to ensure that students understand the roles and collaboration necessary on a health care team.

The college’s School of Health Sciences took part in two recent events that involved more than 400 students in mock patient cases on its campus.

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