Friday, September 19, 2008

The Clinic

Ok, so here is an update about what my "job" entails. I've been seeing patients for the last 2 1/2 weeks now. It's been really nice. i feel a bit rusty at times, but have been having a good time. I work out of two DTR's (Dental Treatment Room). In one, one of my two assistants, does all the cleanings for the kids coming in for check-ups, and then I come over and do their exam. The other DTR is for operative patients, i.e. doing fillings etc. At times it is really busy, especially as I try to get used to the new system of charting and writing the treatment notes. Other days patients will miss their appointments and the days will be slow. At least in the AF I can get paid whether or not I have the patients come.

The kids seem fairly well behaved here. I see a lot more young kids then I did in residency. Here we are seeing the kids 9 and younger, whereas in RI we say from 1-18 and it was usually 6-18. I like treating these littler kids. The Air Force is a cross section of America, meaning we see all the same things as in the civilian world, but on a smaller scale. We will be taking some kids to the OR for treatment under general anesthesia, but the list is A LOT shorter then in Rhode Island. I am also going to start doing oral sedation in the clinic. I'm also starting to get some kids coming in on whom I will be doing some small orthodontic work.

One day last week we had an emergency response drill. They, the wing command, took the whole base through an exercise simulating a terrorist attack. The AF has different threat level like Homeland Security has now, but different terms. We practiced through the highest threat level. For the most part I just sat in my office getting caught up on things. Sometimes they have us wear our "MOPP" gear (Mission Oriented Protective Posture) i.e. protective gear like bullet proof vest and/or gas mask, etc.

My assistants are really good. I have one with a lot of experience who is doing the exams and the one assisting me is pretty new and still training. He does a good job, esp. for only being out of tech school for 3 months. One draw back to Air Force assistants, called techs, is that they don't stay in one specialty too long. It hurts their rank advancement to do so. So they get switched around. They are fun to work with.

The clinic has 9 general dentists, one orthodontist, one periodontist, and me. I think that makes 12, and we will be getting an oral surgeon next month.

I even got to do my first "home dental visit" tonight. One of our friends called me after one of the kids they were babysitting hurt his teeth on a trampoline. They brought him over and I got to check him out.* It's nice to be able to help these little kids.

*The kid is fine.

These are from the flop (it got rained out so no stunts were done) of an air show a week or two ago (time has been hard to judge lately).

Max in a Navy rescue helicopter.
One of the F-16's from our base. They are fun to see flying around each day.

1 comment:

Melissa Abby said...

Glad you guys are getting settled and into the swing of things now. How cool for your boys to get to see those planes flying around everywhere. It was meant for you not to have any girls yet :) And yes, I have gotten over UCLA's loss. They are a heartbreaking team to root for but I am loyal. It would be much easier to just cheer for USC but that's no fun!