This Seventeen Year Old Student Became a Leader Amongst her Classmates
Morgan Rivers worked as a restaurant hostess and food runner for years before she knew she wanted to become a dental assistant. She had been going through some life challenges and moved away for a while. During a visit home, her mom encouraged her to look at colleges. Morgan was interested in nursing, but she thought it might be too stressful for her. She found the Dental Assisting program and decided to jump in, as she says, “feet first.”
“I just loved it,” she says, “I don’t regret any of it.”
Today Morgan works for a wonderful family practice dentist in Ahwatukee, Phoenix, Arizona, where she is cross trained to assist both the hygienist and the doctor.
Here, Morgan tells us more about herself and her experience as both a student at Carrington College and as a dental assistant.
Why did you choose Carrington College?
I was sold on it because of how nice everyone was; everyone was willing to answer my questions. During my tour, we met with a man named Mark Silva—he was the first person I spoke to, and he was so kind and generous. Another thing I loved is that the school offers financial aid to those who qualify, which helped make it more affordable for me and my family.
What was the Dental Assisting Program like?
We had two-day labs; Mondays you read about the lab, Tuesdays you were ready to go in and do the hands-on learning, and on Thursday, you took the test and showed it on the model. You were constantly learning. I also got an iPad, so I was able to learn through the iPad or a laptop, and dental apps allowed us to practice all the time. They really set us up for success!
Is there anyone who influenced you during your time at Carrington College?
I met Miss Lisa Schroeder at the Phoenix Carrington location before I enrolled, and I really liked her—so much that I decided to study at that campus. I knew the 40-minute drive would be worth it! She was one of those teachers who had us work hard because she knew we could do it, and I think I needed that. She and I still catch up once in a while; she is my mentor, I can still go back to her for anything. She’s easy to talk to, compassionate, and truthful. Her email is always open to us, even after we left. We need teachers like that; you know they have your back.
Did you have any challenges during school that you had to overcome?
For me it was learning the instruments and burs for the handpieces; they are very specific and have particular names—and sometimes the doctors have different names for them—so that was challenging for me.
Where was your externship?
I did an externship and was hired Dental by Design Ahwatukee, which was my first job.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
The people. I work with a great team; they are so kind and willing to lend a hand.
How has COVID-19 affected your duties?
It hasn’t affected us too much since we are used to keeping a very sterile and sanitary place to begin with, but it’s caused more worry since we are working in people’s mouths. We take all the precautions to keep everyone safe.
What advice do you have for students in school now?
I would say keep going; as hard as it may get, keep going. This is a career that will always be needed. Patients will always need you, and this job will take care of you. Especially if you work for a good practice, they will take care of you.
Nothing in life is easy, but you have to want this career. It’s a serious job because you are given the responsibility of helping people with their health. Your oral health is especially important; it affects your whole body.