If you asked the faculty members at Oxford College to name one of the more memorable students they ever had, it is likely that many would answer Heba Elhawi. The spirited dental hygiene student was one known as outgoing and fun-loving, and at the same time dedicated to learning her craft.
“I knew this was the right field for me,” said Heba in a recent visit back to Oxford College. Becoming a dental hygienist meant for her the “opportunity to be independent, work with your own patients.”
She entered the college after working three years as a dental assistant. The program was by no means a breeze – she had to repeat the third semester, but Heba never thought of leaving. In June 2009 she graduated from the program and became a dental hygienist.
Since then Heba has been working in the Toronto-area, using her Oxford training and dental connections to find work. She notes that at the beginning, new dental hygienists will probably only be able to find work on Saturdays or a couple nights a week. She also advises joining a temp agency or using Oxford College’s Career Centre to help find work.
The 23-year-old has also started managing a dental office in Toronto, which Heba believes is going to be good experience for starting her own practice. “It’s wrong to think that you are a dental hygienists and just do hygiene,” she advises.