Thirty-two members of the UNC-Chapel Hill dental hygiene Class of 2010 participated in a recent ceremony honoring their entrance into patient care.
The students in the two-year program will begin providing patient care, under faculty supervision, this semester in the School’s Student Dental Clinics.
“As the Class of 2010 takes this significant step into the role of becoming oral health care practitioners, it brings with it the responsibility and commitment of providing ethical patient care with the greatest competence,” said Dr. Sally M. Mauriello, director of the Dental Hygiene Programs, during the Dental Hygiene Commitment Ceremony.
Other speakers at the Jan. 11 event included Dean John N. Williams; Alicia Barbour, president of the dental hygiene Class of 2010; Marinda Sapp, vice president of the Class of 2010; and Dr. Lauren Patton, interim chair of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Dentistry’s Department of Dental Ecology. The event was held at the UNC-Chapel Hill Medical Biomolecular Research Building’s Van Wyk Auditorium, and more than 120 family members and friends attended.
The keynote speaker was Dr. Susan Hogan, a research assistant professor in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Hogan received her bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene from UNC-Chapel Hill and went on to receive her master of public health degree and doctorate from the University.
Hogan’s comments focused on the importance of professional development, service to community and learning from each interaction with colleagues and patients. She encouraged students to hold themselves to the highest professional standards.
After Hogan’s address, students donned their “Carolina blue” coats and were introduced by clinical associate professor Charlotte A. Peterson. They walked across the auditorium stage to receive congratulations from Williams and other School leaders. The Class of 2010 then stood to recite the dental hygienist pledge from the American Dental Hygienists’ Association Code of Ethics Preamble and the class commitment to “promote and implement the best oral care to the public.”
“I am so pleased with the display of community that this dental hygiene class possesses and with the large group of family and friends who were in the audience to support their loved ones’ achievements,” Mauriello said after the ceremony. “As evidenced by the class commitment pledge, our students should be commended for their commitment to improving the oral health of North Carolinians, through patient care in our School’s clinics and the leadership they will demonstrate in their careers after they receive their degrees.”