Leslie Jackson, and Her Unstoppable Drive to Become a Dental Hygienist

Summer 2014, CDHA Journal

by Amira M. Elkerdany, BA, RDH

Regardless of your graduation date, every hygienist

remembers just how difficult it was to get through

dental hygiene school. In case you have forgotten,

let me refresh your memory: endless hours of study-

ing, calling and scheduling patients (whom you met

in front of the Wal-Mart), competencies (and failing 

competencies), research, mastering a brand new

skill…I am sure it is all coming back to you now.

Think about it: remember when you were first learn-

ing how to use your explorer, and exploring the

linguals of the maxillary anterior teeth seemed impossible? Or the time you administered your first local anesthesia injection into the soft tissue of your classmate, complete with hands shaking and sweat rolling down your face? Now imagine trying to do all of that, but with a physical and cognitive disability. For dental hygiene student, Leslie Jackson, this is her everyday reality. 


On February 22, 2011, Leslie went in to see the doctor for what she suspected was strep throat. The doctor told her she was fine and sent her home, but that night she actually experienced a stroke. She went without medical care for two days, and it wasn’t until her roommate found her in their bathroom, where she had fallen 


Click Here to Read Full Article in CDHA Journal (page 21)

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