The importance of aligning education with career choice cannot be underestimated. Given the importance of passion for work, it seems much easier to develop passion by being successful and being a good person. Choosing a career that you enjoy can ultimately focus your attention on pursuing your career path. While choosing a degree major that aligns with my personality, my career dreams and vison, the university also play an important role in providing coursework, support and creating a learning environment that is conducive for both student social and academic development. An academic plan at TSU will help me cultivate the social, political, and or cultural skills that I will need to be successful in my career. The major filed of my career is public health specializing in dental health. Dental public health is a program that focuses on scientific research on dental disease prevention and management, community dental health promotion, and prepares dentists and public health professionals to act as dental health professionals (Dussault & Dubois). It includes education in preventive dentistry, oral disease and health and quality of life relationships, patient and practitioner behavior, dental epidemiology, nutrition and dental health, dental care policy and delivery, oral health program planning and management, biostatistics and research methods (Dal Poz, Quain, O’Neil, McCaffery, Elzinga & Martineau). Public health is a field for those who think of the greater interests of humans. A program we study at university does not only impact our career choices but it will also have an impact on the community we live in.
History of the Major
The field of public health is constantly evolving in response to the needs of communities and populations around the world. The fundamental mission of public health is to improve conditions and behaviors that affect health so that everyone can reach health. Its mission has always included not only the implementation of public health policy, but also the study of public health issues and the education of future leaders who will ultimately turn that research into practices and policies aimed at improving the health of people in the region, country and around the world (Dubois & McKee). Public health has always been a discipline that has a real and lasting positive impact on people. This is because it helps to create a healthy environment, and it is a moral and ethical obligation.
Public health initiatives affect people every day, everywhere in the world. It addresses a wide range of issues that can affect the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities, populations, and societies now and to the next generation (Macdonald). Due to this discipline, there is increased life expectancy, mortality is decreasing worldwide, and there is eradication or reduction of many communicable diseases.
My chosen career is to be a public health dentist. Public health dentists are dental professionals working in the public sector, typically focusing their skills and expertise on population-based dentistry instead of treating patients one at a time. The ultimate focus of public health dentists is generally to improve the oral health of people within the community or state. By increasing the population’s overall level of dental health, public health dentists can reduce the number of untreated dental problems by combining treatment, education, and policy changes (Larson).
Public health dentists handle a variety of tasks and rarely treat patients one-on-one. Instead, they research current oral health trends and community needs to determine areas for improvement. They also develop new oral health policies to improve dental health and implement and monitor policies to ensure correct results. In addition, they develop and provide programs and services that improve oral health problems.
I chose this career because I have a specific set of skills and unique traits that can help me improve my ability to perform tasks as expected. Good education and proper training will help me to develop my skills so that I can be successful in this career, and professional experience that I will acquire during internship and projects will also help. In addition, I also possess the following traits that can also have a major impact on my success as a public health dentist.
- Superior Analytical Skills-A key part of the job is collecting data and conducting research to determine which aspects of public dental health need improvement and how to improve. Therefore, my strong analytical skills are essential.
- Good Communication-Discussing policy with a legislator or others in the public health sector is just as one of the key parts of the job. I also posses written and oral communication skills which are essential for public health dentists.
- Attention to detail – It is important for public health dentists to pay attention to the details as the little ones can have a major impact on the overall dental health of the public. I possess attention to detail skills which makes me suitable for the career.
Academic Preparation for Future Career.
My coursework at TSU plays an important role in preparing me for my future career. This includes what I will learn in this course. For example, I will the academic course and field experience will prepare me for the planning, implementation and operation of dental public health programs and provides an understanding of the process by which health policy is developed and regulated. Through the following coursework, I will acquire the technical skills needed to take on leadership roles in public health.
For example, the marketing and communication course will help me to develop health education initiatives and market them. Human resources course will help me to work with various employees from different backgrounds. Financial management will help me to come up with public health dental program budgets and advocacy building will help me in building alliance with community members. Information management course will help me to analyze data and use technological systems to m market initiatives, analyze data and implement technologies in program implementation. A course in quality assurance and risk management will help me to minimize risk in program implementation.
A key component of the program is original research. Combining coursework and research will allow me to take advantage of public health studies to launch the academic oral health capstone projects required for the program. Completing these projects will give me an opportunity to network with dental public health professionals which will help me gain practical knowledge of my career. In addition, dental education courses will give me the knowledge I need to keep your patients healthy and happy. As new treatments are developed in the dental world, coursework will be incorporated with these which prepares me to educate people on the most recent effective techniques. Continuing dental education will help me acquire essential skills in the healthcare industry. This include courses such as
- Treatment protocol for medically impaired patients
- Enhancing patient safety and infection control
- Handling medical emergencies and understanding vitals
- Cultural competency
- Knowledge of dental hygiene equipment
Therefore coursework not only improves my professional skills, but also allows me to meet other like-minded people in the dental industry. Building a network of dental professionals is a valuable benefit of participating in dental continuing education courses. Internships offered at the university during a summer break can teach students me more about what I must do in the practical job. Real experience often happen when someone starts working in the ideal workplace. Internships are a unique opportunity to test different locations to see which rides students like the most (Johnson, Larkin & Saks). I will take advantage of summer breaks to intern in a variety of roles and organizations to identify roles that can excite and have knowledge of my future career. At the same time, I must be able to apply research and bring experience I brought from internship to bring my academic progress to fruition. This was supported by (Davies) who said that ultimately, students should be able to apply what they learn to their path to career success. There is no substitute for learning by experience. The practical application of knowledge gained from coursework provides a solid foundation for any educational or career path. The development of critical thinking, problem solving, communication and teamwork skills during coursework is critical to my success in public dental health.
Social Preparation for Future Career
TSU offers a unique and innovative social environment that increases retention, enriches students’ intellectual, ethical and social development. It also provides public relations to the community and provides opportunities to improve leadership skills and learning opportunities. The following areas: enrolled student clubs and organizations, student government and leadership, fraternity and sorority life, late-night and weekend programs, intercultural affairs, student activities and service, homecoming and special events can help me to develop social skills that will be useful in my future career. This is because the following skills are developed through interaction, liaising and being involved with other students and social activities at the university.
The social environment at TSU will help me to develop emotional intelligence through practicing empathy and paying attention to the emotion’s others are feeling. This includes having productive conversation skills by listening to other people’s perspectives and asking good questions during discussions, volunteering activities and so forth. Staying in touch with classmates and professors can build relationships. These relationships can be key to career opportunities.
Cultural intelligence development
To understand the modern market, it is necessary to develop sensitivity and openness to diversity and multicultural differences. A career in public health requires me to engage and work effectively across cultures. The university is usefull of students with diverse cultures. Working in various projects and attending classes with people from different backgrounds will help me develop cultural competency that is important for my career.
Getting an internship
The best way to succeed after graduation is to gain experience working in the industry before graduation. Internships are the best way to gain that experience and potentially step into the door of a company. Even if your internship is unpaid, the skills you can build up can make an effective resume (Davies). The ability to get an internship while I am still studying at the university is a great opportunity for me to develop social skills for my career. This is because the industry will allow me to develop social networking skills outside the school environment that enhances my career.
Serving the Community
Dentistry offers many opportunities, challenges, and rewards. It’s a fast-changing and expanding job. The Doctor of Dental Medicine is a member of the primary healthcare profession at the forefront of disease prevention, intervention and health promotion which is crucial in serving the community and networking with other professionals. My career will be beneficial to the community because dentists are often the first medical professionals to recognize and identify a variety of diseases ranging from high blood pressure to oral cancer. They diagnose and treat problems that affect teeth, gingival tissue, tongue, lips, and jaw. These oral diseases often indicate other health problems that may require follow-up from the patient’s attending physician.
In the era of modern healthcare, dentists utilize new and advanced technologies such as computers, digital radiography, cone beam computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging to diagnose patients. Dentists provide services that improve the appearance and confidence of patients through a variety of cosmetic dental procedures. These services can make patients feel good about their smile. To repair, restore, and maintain dentition (teeth), gums (gum), and oral tissues that are lost or damaged due to an accident or disease, dentists perform trauma surgery, dental implants, tissue transplants and laser surgery. This will benefit the community by improving the gnarl health and smiles of the public. In addition, the dentist’s job extends beyond the dental chair. Patient education is just as important as a real dental procedure as a dentist teaches good oral habits to promote good health. Dentists educate the general public about the importance of oral health and disease prevention. They interact with people of all ages, cultures, and personalities.
As a public health professional, I will be dedicated to protecting and improving the health of people and communities. This work is achieved by encouraging a healthy lifestyle, researching disease and injury prevention, and of course responding to infectious diseases such as the novel coronavirus. Good dentists also have creative talents. The dentist is an artist, and to brighten one tooth or realign the entire jaw, the dentist must have an artistic flair to envision the aesthetic result so that the patient looks at its best. Part of this work will require collaboration with other professional teams such as nurses. This will help to expand the professional community.
Dentists provide essential health care services. They are highly respected within the community. Dentists are skilled, conscientious and citizen-oriented individuals who work with community leaders, educators, and other healthcare professionals and government officials. They often serve school health programs and elderly, disabled or poor citizens, and show selflessness that is characteristic of their professionalism.
The CDC says chronic illness is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States (Dubois CA, McKee M, Nolte). Here are some statistics on chronic diseases in our country today.
- Half of American adults have chronic illnesses (Dubois CA, McKee & Nolte).
- One in three Americans has high blood pressure.
- 2 million heart attacks and strokes each year.
- 7 out of 10 Americans are caused by chronic conditions.
- Every dollar you spend on healthcare, 75 cents are spent on chronic diseases and factors that increase your risk.
Dental public health profession is important in that it identifies these chronic illnesses before they reach a detrimental stage. Patients will then be advised to seek medical attention at an early stage.
Of course, failure to maintain public health within the community can lead to a variety of medical problems. The chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease increase when the overall health and well-being of the community is neglected. The CDC reports that 90% of annual medical bills nationwide are for people with chronic health conditions. This reinforces the simple fact that public health professionals are important to our country’s health and well-being. TSU offers the academic and the social environment that will help me enhance my skills in this field. In a nutshell, when you get a public health degree, you don’t invest in the future, you also invest in the future of the people you serve.