Jodi Anne Drumheller, B.S.D.H.
“Dental hygienists help patients by promoting oral health, practicing preventative-based care and assisting patients in living healthier lives. The instant gratification I feel from seeing patients' smiles is my favorite aspect of dental hygiene thus far.”
Saint Albans, WV
What made you want to earn your dental hygiene degree?
Dental hygienists help patients by promoting oral health, practicing preventative-based care, and assisting patients in living healthier lives. Working in a field that practices preventative-based care allows for both disease prevention and patient education. The instant gratification I feel from seeing patients' smiles and creating patient-provider relationships is my favorite aspect of dental hygiene thus far. Earning a bachelor's degree allows for an advanced curriculum load and opens many doors for future employment opportunities in the field of dental hygiene outside direct clinical care.
Why did you choose WVU?
WVU is the only four-year integrated dental hygiene program in the nation! Having a dental hygiene program that is integrated with the School of Dentistry has allowed for an even more enriching undergraduate experience than I could have ever imagined. This has allowed for networking in the field of dentistry and the promotion of collaborative work with our clinical rotations such as our eight-week rural rotation, oral surgery rotation, pediatric rotation, OR rotation at Ruby Memorial, and more.
What would you tell someone who is considering WVU School of Dentistry?
I would tell someone considering WVU School of Dentistry to go for it! Whether they are pursuing a career in dental hygiene or dentistry, WVU offers an enriching education and a positive atmosphere for their students!
What school-related events or activities did you enjoy most and why?
I have enjoyed getting involved with multiple organizations through WVU School of Dentistry. Being WVU’s SDHA chapter secretary has allowed me to help orchestrate and be involved with events and fundraisers with my peers outside of the classroom setting. I am also a member of the SOD’s Wellness Committee, which has allowed me to help plan fun events for the SOD Dental and Dental Hygiene students to come together and socialize like trivia night held by Dr. Brown!
What are you excited for next?
I am excited to move somewhere new and start a new chapter as a future registered dental hygienist. I am going to miss the friends I have made through the dental hygiene program. I know I have made friendships I will have for a lifetime. These four years have gone by too fast!
Outreach - Jodi helped lead a community oral cancer screening her senior year.
How did you get involved in oral cancer and oral cancer education topics?
Oral cancer has been integrated into multiple dental hygiene classes at WVU. It is so important to catch oral cancer early and to educate patients on minimizing the risk factors that lead to oral cancer. We screen every patient at WVU School of Dentistry for oral cancer. A thorough oral facial exam is performed by dental hygiene students and faculty, followed by a dental exam from the dental faculty. Having multiple sets of eyes examining patients allows for a thorough appointment and the most optimal care possible for our patients.
You were selected to be a site manager for an October 2022 oral cancer screening and education event. Tell us about your experience.
Being selected as a site manager for the October oral cancer screening and education event in Clarksburg was an incredible experience. This opportunity allowed me to gain more experience in working directly with patient care oriented toward the prevention of oral cancer. This health fair event was free to all patients and gave our dental students the opportunity to screen patients for oral cancer and our dental hygiene students the opportunity to educate patients on why it is important to self-screen for oral cancer and how/what to look for when screening for oral cancer on one's self.
What did you learn as a site manager of an outreach event?
Through being a site manager for the oral cancer screening and education event, I was able to gain a sense of purpose and responsibility in my field of study. A lot of work is put into events, such as this one, that goes unnoticed until you are part of the team orchestrating the event. I learned that to plan a healthcare event such as this one, you have to work with everyone involved as a team to ensure the event runs successfully. Everyone that volunteered/participated in this event had an equal role and responsibility. The event could not have been in place without the help of everyone involved such as the dental and dental hygiene faculty, and the dental and dental hygiene students. Everyone involved had an important role in this event and I am proud of everyone who volunteered!
How has WVU's Dental Hygiene program supported your passion for service and serving patients in the community?
In the WVU SOD Dental Hygiene course curriculum, a minimum of 125 hours of community service is required to graduate. This not only encourages but allows my classmates and me to get involved directly by helping out within our community. Through WVU's Student American Dental Hygiene Association, my classmates and I can get together and serve our community through multiple different community service projects and donation drives. Opportunities, such as the oral cancer screening event I was able to be a site manager for, is an excellent example of ways that WVU School of Dentistry gets involved with serving patients in the community. I hope to be involved with more events such as this one in the future!