Students persevere through to pinning ceremony
by Iowa Central Information
Posted on 5/21/2021
Lexie Arnevik was put to the test during her time with the Iowa Central Dental Hygiene Program.
Arnevik, the valedictorian of the class this year, was one of 14 honored during the April ceremony along with Mackenzi Brinkman, Danielle DeRoy, Kailee Doty, Aylin Garcia Jimenez, Abby Lohrmann, Jensen Kelderman, Angela McCann, Jenna Newbury, Natalie Resse, Emma Totten, Karlee Wiegert, Adysen Wintermote and class president Lexi Jeno.
“My favorite memory from this last year was being able to finally come back from COVID times and being able to perform all local anesthesia injections on our classmates,” Arnevik said. “I had never had one prior to this, let alone having 26 done in one day, but this allowed me to overcome my fears so I can be able to help my patients feel safe and not afraid when I give one to them.”
The numerous obstacles that the class had to overcome throughout the past year-plus also made it more memorable for Arnevik looking back.
Iowa Central held face-to-face classes during the first semester, but from the second through the fifth, classes were held online.
“Our experience through a pandemic is probably a little bit different from how it was working with instructors and classmates,” she said. “Being able to work with each other to complete clinic requirements and to have study buddies really helped to be successful in this program.”
Despite the changes, Arnevik has no regrets about her time within the program. She will soon begin work in Algona in her chosen career path.
“I would recommend this program to future students as it really provides us with the skills and education necessary to be able to successfully accomplish taking boards,” Arnevik said. “And gets us prepared for the working world after the program.
“Our pinning ceremony was definitely a wonderful night to celebrate all of our accomplishments and obstacles that we had to overcome. Being the COVID Class of 2021 was just a reward in itself being able to graduate with all the underlying circumstances we had to face.”
Renee Piper, program coordinator, acknowledged the difficulties as well, crediting the “best team of faculty and students.”
“Everyone came together and worked really hard to prepare the clinics, perform patient care and learn skills,” she said. “In order to be successful from the college shutdown, the clinic had to have a COVID operating plan for the safest possible treatment areas. That was the first step in securing success for the Dental Hygiene students.
“Then came patient, student and faculty safety which included N-95 masks, infection and screening protocols in place, new clinic patient flow and new areas for storage, electronic portfolios, a new clinic grading system and infection control processes.”
Through it all, they were able to complete the program before passing National Dental Hygiene Board Examination and the regional clinical Licensure Examination.
“The celebration of success is the reason (for the pinning ceremony) and the students were able to celebrate,” Piper said. “There were modifications as well, but with the pinning ceremony being held at a private venue, it was a great and new experience.
“The Dental Hygiene Pinning is a tradition that reflects the academic and skills required to graduate the program and earn the pin. It symbolizes the readiness to serve the community in a professional manner, to care, to advocate and to lead.”
“This group did a fantastic job in preparing for their futures.”
I wanted to go back to college after working for a couple of years out of high school. I wanted to acquire knowledge to further my career in a job I wanted to do for the rest of my life.