Nearly 20 dental assisting staff and students from American Career College-Orange County volunteered at the annual OC Free Health Fair this October.
Led by ACC-Orange County dental assisting program director Cecilia Cabrera and faculty members Claudia Kim and Deborah Taylor, the 16 dental assisting students jumped right in to help the volunteer staff in the fast-paced environment. Cabrera said the students — some who had just started the 10-month program — gained a lot of valuable experience in a short amount of time. Just four hours into the event, Cabrera said the group had already assisted with 30 fillings and 14 extractions.
"The volunteer dentist was really patient and guided our students during the procedures," Cabrera said. "Our students were able to take X-rays using handheld cordless digital X-ray equipment, disinfect and prepare the treatment area, set up the trays, aspirate and assist on restorations and extraction procedures."
Located at the Mile Square Park's Freedom Hall in Fountain Valley, the one-day event offered community members with a variety of health services, all provided at no cost by the Vietnamese American Physician Association of Southern California (VPASC).
Cabrera said the students were already looking forward to volunteering at next year's fair and that the Lestonnac Free Clinic — which ran the dental department under the supervision of Dr. Timothy Bui — offered the students an opportunity to do their clinical hours at Lestonnac's monthly community events.
"At the end of the day, our students were so excited to share what they did, the procedures and the doctors they assisted with, connecting what they had learned in class and applying it real life," Cabrera said. "Best of all, some of them received a business card from the volunteer doctors who wanted to connect once they are done in school."
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