You always want to review the clinical procedure and check for the equipment needed. Students constantly run back to their lockers to get what they need. If you are going to use wax then you need a wax spatula. You will also need a match to light the Bunsen burner. Reviewing saves time. You wouldn't come to an exam unprepared. The clinic is more important.

Just one bit of misinformation can result in your repeating the step. Why not discuss the procedure with an instructor before you come with your patient. You can speak to any instructor. We love to give advice.

There are times you will get discouraged. This happens to everyone. You can also discourage the instructor. If you come completely unprepared the instructor may not have the time (there are other students) or the inclination to stay by your side and carry you through the procedure.

You should be aware that most of the time your instructor is only going to tell what is wrong with your work. So primarily you will be getting "negative" information. This is done to save time and not to dampen your spirits. Granted it must also be done tactfully and sometimes privately.

The safest mind set for the instructor is to assume that you are not aware of all the details of the procedure you are doing. This can lead to questions that are irritating to the student. Combine this with the many frustrations inherent in the practice of dentistry and the instructor becomes a noxious impediment. If you can't get over the feeling, then try to work with other instructors.

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©1999 by Julius Rosen, D.D.S.