I had the great pleasure of taking my clinical board exam in downtown Phoenix on Mother's Day... at 8 am.
Dan and I drove to Phoenix for my "orientation" to the clinic the day before. It was nice because it was at the same location that I took my anesthesia boards at back in March. I was familiar with the layout and location of the clinic which eased my stress a lot. Dan waited in the lobby of the clinic for me while I sat through a 45 minute orientation to the exam and it's specific protocols and procedures.
When we got out to the car to leave, I had a voicemail waiting on my phone. It was from my patient...
My patient Maya, was supposed to drive from Tucson to Chandler that day also (the day before) and was going to stay with her aunt overnight so she would be sure to be to the clinic on time the next morning.
While I was in orientation, she called and left me a message saying that she was on her way out of Tucson and her car overheated. There was no way she was going to be able to get it fixed that day and she was thinking of anything she could to get to Phoenix.
At that moment, I almost had a heart attack/mental break down. I was then intending to turn around and drive back to Tucson to pick her up. She was the only patient I had, and there was no way I would have been able to find another one in 12 hours.
A few minutes later she called again and left another message saying "don't worry Jill, I know I told you my car overheated, but I'm on my way to the bus station now. I will be there. I promise. Don't stress. I'm doing absolutely everything I can to make sure that I'm there for you in the morning. Don't worry, I'll be there"
At that moment, I almost started crying. This sweet girl got herself to the greyhound station in Tucson (which is scary enough as it is), bought a round trip bus ticket, got on a Greyhound and rode all the way to Phoenix, had her aunt pick her up from the greyhound station all just so she could be there for me the next morning.
I had only talked to this girl like twice before this. We didn't know each other hardly at all, but simply because she is a good person she did all of that for me...to come sit in a chair for 3 hours, have 4-5 people poking around in her mouth, get her teeth cleaned, on Mother's Day.
Did I mention she is a single mom of a 2 year old girl?
I was so touched.
Sunday morning came, she was there, on time and all. Just as she promised. The exam went well. I was slightly nervous because I had never seen the inside of her mouth before (a classmate of mine referred her to me as a board patient), and I was doing a section in the mouth that can be hit or miss board quality. But she was golden.
She was incredibly patient and cooperative. Didn't complain at all, about anything. The only thing she asked of me at the end was if I could give her a ride back to her Aunt's house in Chandler. I told her I would take her anywhere she wanted.
Overall, I felt pretty good when I walked out of the clinic that day. I felt like I had definitely done my best and was pretty confident that I would pass. Much like the written exam, I was mostly just relieved to have it over with.
A few days later, I got an email with my results...
I needed a 75% to pass this exam as well. All in all, I was very glad that I scheduled my board exams at the beginning of the month and didn't wait until the end like 75% of the girls in my class. By May 12th I had received my results from both exams, and could rest easy and let go of everything while most of my classmates were still cramming.
What a great feeling it was to know that all the sweat and tears I put into hygiene school had finally paid off! It definitely made graduation so much sweeter knowing that I was 100% on my way to my long-awaited career.