A day in their scrubs

March 18th, 2015

Meet first-year dental hygiene student Briana Bonney. But you can call her Breezy.

After attending a couple meetings of the Dallas Dental Hygienists’ Society, “Breezy” Briana Bonney knew what she had to do.

Briana Bonney, first-year dental hygiene student, with the book "Born to Run"The Texas Dental Hygienists’ Association had an opening for a student delegate. She recognized the potential impact of the position, which makes her a voting TDHA board member, effectively giving her a voice on behalf of students to the state dental hygiene organization and the student members of its national counterpart, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. Bonney wanted someone elected to the position who would do a great job. Plus, someone from Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry needed to do it, she says. So who better than herself?

Bonney is used to taking on new challenges. Her husband, Mark, is in the Navy, which resulted in their two-year stint in Jacksonville, N.C., before heading back home to Texas where he’ll transition into the reserves.

Now this dental hygiene student and football fanatic opens up about taking the long road to TAMBCD, the moment she learned how to (correctly) use a sickle scaler and the origins behind that distinctive, but fitting, nickname.

Hometown: Lone Oak. It’s a tiny town in East Texas that no one has ever heard of.

Undergrad institution: I traveled all over the place. I started at Paris Junior College while I was still in high school. Then I moved to Texas A&M Commerce, and after that I got married and moved to North Carolina so I went to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. It just kind of happened that way. I grew up always wanting to be an Aggie, so I felt a sense of camaraderie at A&M Commerce. And now I’m here.

Dental hygiene school survival strategy: I try to read one chapter in a book each day — one that’s fun, something for me so that I keep my sanity. Right now I’m reading “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall. Matthew McConaughey is about to star in the upcoming film. That’s exciting.

Favorite energy food: I’m a big fan of Clif crunch chocolate chip granola bars. If you asked me two weeks ago I would have said Dr Pepper. My apartment has a vending machine outside, but normally I go to Kroger and get a 12 pack. During the snow days I was out of Dr Pepper and figured I would just go down to the vending machine. It was sleeting on me, but I just really wanted one. I went all the way to where the vending machine used to be and realized the complex got rid of it. So I unintentionally gave up Dr Pepper.

Best way to unwind after a long day in lecture, lab or clinic: Take a nap. I don’t even have to think about that. I am a great nap taker. I’ll take a nap anywhere: take a nap in the dental hygiene lounge; take a nap in a chair; take a nap during breaks. I can sleep through anything. A nap is a great way to compartmentalize. If I’ve had a bad day, I’m going to go home, take a nap, and when I wake up, it’s all going to be better.

Dental hygiene school aha moment: Learning the H6-H7 sickle scaler. It is the most unfriendly instrument and took me forever to learn. During preclinic one day, Ms. Wyatt looked at me and said, “Breezy, what are you doing?” I was like, “That’s a great question.” All she had to do was take my hand, and say, “Flip it over.” And it all just clicked.

Goal after graduation: I still have a year here. My husband wants to get his undergrad in biology from TCU. He wants to be a physician assistant, and I just want a job. Our goal is to move to Fort Worth after I finish.

What people may not know about you: When my parents told my oldest sister, then 11 — I’m the youngest of four — that they planned to name me Briana, my sister said, “No, that’s an awful name. I’m going to call her Breezy Tail.” My dad said, “You cannot call her Breezy Tail, that’s a dog’s name. You can call her Breezy but not Breezy Tail.”

It’s been Breezy since before I was born. No one has ever called me Briana unless I’m in trouble.

— Jennifer Fuentes