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RDH, BSDH, MSDH- Educator

May 24, 2017


My name is Elizabeth and I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene in May 2012 from U-M.  Now, I am enrolled in the U-M Master of Science in Dental Hygiene (MSDH) Program at the University of Michigan. I am currently in the second year of this graduate program.  The dental hygiene program at the University of Michigan focuses on all aspects of dental hygiene including education, advocacy, clinical skills, and research.  Learning these facets of dental hygiene has allowed me to function at my fullest potential and has provided me with the desire to refocus my career to become a part time dental hygiene educator and expand my service, teaching, and clinical research skills.

During the second year in the MSDH program, students are required to complete a Clinical Teaching Practicum and a Didactic Teaching Practicum.  I completed my Clinical Teaching Practicum in the Fall 2016 semester and I am currently completing my Didactic Teaching Practicum during this Winter 2017 semester.  Both of these experiences have provided me with valuable firsthand experience on how to effectively teach and help students to learn in a clinic and classroom setting. I’ve learned as a clinical instructor working with first year dental hygiene students, it is important to help students understand and process new information in smaller pieces. Creating a checklist or sequencing events can help students retain and process information. ​ This will help students develop critical thinking skills necessary to process information and develop patient care options that can restore and maintain oral health. ​

Also, I learned a lot about myself as a clinical instructor through self-assessments.   One area I felt I needed improvement in was explaining concepts and techniques clearly and at an appropriate student level.  I realized it comes with experience.  Working with first year dental hygiene students is challenging, even for seasoned educators, because learning new psychomotor skills for students is difficult. At the beginning of the semester, I found it easier to demonstrate the correct use of an instrument rather than explain the correct use of the instrument.  By the end of the semester,   I realized if I explain “why” a certain instrument or procedure was needed that helped students grasp the concept and psychomotor skill better.

I’m very excited to complete my Didactic Teaching Practicum this semester and continue to grow in my teaching abilities.  I graduate this spring!

Elizabeth (Easter) Pitts, RDH, BSDH will be graduating this summer with her MSDH after defending her thesis and is an Adjunct Clinical Lecturer at the #1 Dental School in the US.  Congrats!


Want more blog posts from Elizabeth when she was in her undergrad hygiene program? See:

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