A day in their scrubs

Meet DH1 Allison Rodriguez
January 19th, 2021

Scrubs Allison Rodriguez 1100Hometown: I was born in Bethesda, Maryland, and moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, about a month later. I then moved to Texas when I was almost 7. I still LOVE the East Coast.

Undergrad institution: I have a bachelor’s in sociology from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Why Caruth School of Dental Hygiene at Texas A&M College of Dentistry: At first I only knew about Texas Woman’s University’s program, but as I did more research, I learned about the Caruth School of Dental Hygiene’s reputation. What solidified my decision was the application and interview process. I really liked how personal it was, since all applicants had to write a biographical sketch. I also enjoyed my interview a lot. Director Leigh Ann Wyatt and Professor Lisa Mallonee (who coincidentally ended up being my adviser) helped me feel right at home. I knew leaving that interview I wanted to go to school here, and I hadn’t even had my TWU interview yet.

Dental hygiene school success strategy: Honestly, making sure I get enough sleep at night and taking time to relax. It’s crazy how much this can help your mental health, which I think is vital when trying to succeed in anything. Maintaining a balance between your academics and your health, whether physical or mental, is so important.

Favorite energy food: COFFEE, fruit and LOTS of water throughout the day.

How you unwind after a long day in lecture, lab or clinic: It varies, depending on the day of the week and if I have any exams coming up. Usually if I’m tired, I’ll take a nap or watch a movie (which I usually fall asleep watching). If I have energy, I try to work out. If I’m feeling social, I hang out with my family or have a relaxing wine night with my friends and/or boyfriend.

Best dental hygiene school moment so far: Passing. No, I’m kidding, although that is a great feeling. Working on our student partners with instruments was a lot of fun and a great learning experience. It was really nerve-wracking at first, but my partners were great and we laughed together to help get through it.

Favorite patient care experience: I’m only a junior, so I haven’t had an actual patient yet, but on my very first patient partner we were allowed to work on, I was able to remove some calculus. That was such a satisfying feeling.

Goal after graduation: I would love to work in public health, specifically in a prison. I was lucky enough to observe a dental hygienist at the FMC Carswell women’s prison in Fort Worth, and that helped me realize how often we forget about the health care of underserved populations, including those incarcerated.

What people may not know about you: I originally wanted to be a lawyer and even went to Baylor Law School in Waco for a while. I soon realized I was in the wrong professional program.

— Kathleen Green Pothier