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MS Degree in Dental Hygiene, Vietnamese Applicant

I want to pursue a Master's Degree in Dental Hygiene to devote my professional life to improving dental hygiene practices and education, especially in my country of origin, Vietnam. I work as a dental hygienist in a private practice, and I dream of someday becoming a dental hygiene teacher. Towards this goal, I make it a point to teach my patients several essential things about their oral health every time they come in for a cleaning. I am incredibly excited about the prospect of giving years of my life to research, beginning in your highly esteemed program.

My unique, long-term goal is to return to Vietnam to advance the noble cause of dental hygiene and gain greater awareness of the unique challenges facing Vietnam in this area. I want to focus on basic personal routines, and providing dental care to impoverished communities. I would also love to design courses for local dental hygienists. I plan to infect them with my enthusiasm for ‘bringing a smile to the face of Vietnam.’   I also hope to volunteer to help immigrants to the US from other cultures to find dental health care, and I look forward to doing further research on the provision of hygienic dental services to undocumented residents as well.

The youngest of eight children, I am the first to attend college. My parents have pinned their highest hopes on me, and I accept this as a family honor, always working extremely hard so that we might have at least one degreed professional in our family. I studied biology at a university in my home country of Vietnam for three years until we immigrated to the United States when I was 21. Here in the USA, I completed a BS Degree in Dental Hygiene in preparation for my dream of someday becoming a teacher in this area.

I have struggled night and day for years to improve my English, working as a Dental Assistant at the same time that I studied full time for four and a half years. I have gained a great deal of experience from my work as a dental hygienist; in fact, I see it as the most vital aspect of my application to your competitive program. I am determined to succeed as an incredibly compassionate dental hygienist, and I am pleased with what I have accomplished professionally in preparation for your program. I am also especially delighted with my attainment of the Clinical Achievement Certificate, awarded by the Dental Hygiene Program at the University of New Haven, CT.

Since 2009, I have been employed as a Dental Hygienist and can’t wait to start work each day; I genuinely love my work. I relate well to my patients and receive excellent feedback from them. I have undertaken the whole range of duties that my qualification level permits and have assisted in all kinds of procedures and treatments undertaken by dentists. I regard my work as a vocation rather than a job, and I find it enormously fulfilling on a human level.

In 2005 and 2008, I returned to Vietnam as a volunteer and worked with several non-governmental organizations. I spent a great deal of time in remote, rural communities teaching children to read, repairing houses, and providing general assistance. I also worked, for a time, at Vietnam’s Hospital for Tropical diseases as a Patient Representative, among other duties.

Earlier this year, I volunteered to work with ‘Los Medicos Voladores’ (LMV), a ‘flying doctor’ service to the poor in Mexico, Central America, and parts of southeastern California, serving the large numbers of migrant workers. In March of this year, I was part of a team treating 1,500 patients seeking free medical, dental, and optometric care and physical therapy, acupuncture, and other health services at XXXX High School near Indio, CA.  I treated 36 patients in one day and have felt neither so exhausted nor so elated at any other time in my life. I have also worked in highly challenging and essential conditions in various locations in Huachinera, in Mexico, last May of 2011, also with LMV, where I had the privilege of personally attending to 40 patients, all with deplorable oral hygiene.

I know that cultural awareness and sensitivity are critical in the provision of health care. I have personally experienced the challenges involved in adjusting to many new cultural environments, and so I can empathize with others in this situation. I have happily studied, worked, and socialized with people from many different cultural and social backgrounds and look forward to many rich, new experiences in your program.

I am a hard-working person, very dedicated, driven, passionate, and caring. I have significant and relevant experience, and I am entirely dedicated to improving dental health, especially among those who most need education and treatment. I think that my experience coupled with my determination and dedication will help me to excel in your program and I want to thank you for considering me for that privilege.

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