Students in the Doña Ana Community College (DACC) Dental Hygiene Program will participate in a new and exciting service learning opportunity in India.
On Dec. 29, 2017 to Jan. 12, 2018, students will provide dental hygiene preventive services as well as dental exams and restorations to children and some geriatric patients in the city of Shahdol, at the Siriam Hospital. DACC students will work in conjunction with fellow dental hygiene students, students from pre-nursing, pre-dental, public health and other associated health programs from the United States and from India.
Others invited to participate include students from New Mexico State University (NMSU), El Paso Community College and the University of New Mexico. Community dentists, hygienists, and assistants have also been encouraged to go and will earn continuing education credits as a result. This will be the first time some Indian patients will receive dental services.
This trip marks the ten year anniversary of the dental hygiene program at DACC which began in 2007.
“It is important for our students to experience a different culture and see the differences between health care in the U.S. and in other countries,” DACC Dental Hygiene Program Director Elmer Gonzalez said. “The cultural exchange of ideas, perspectives, and techniques will have a long lasting positive impact on our students.” “This is a great way for students to provide services, learn another culture and make connections with other dental professionals while celebrating our anniversary,” he added.
Week one consists of providing direct patient care activities at the hospital, while the second week will consist of cultural immersion and sightseeing at some of the wonders of India in Bandhavgarh-Umaria, Agra, Fatehpur, Jaipur and finally Delhi. Students will also engage in seminar type conversations on several different topics with fellow health care professionals throughout the second week.
To help raise funds for the trip DACC students are using the NMSU crowd funding platform. The fundraising goal is $10,000 and all donations are appreciated and are tax free through the NMSU Foundation. Donations can be made at: https://makeastatement.nmsu.edu/dental-hygiene