Monika Sharma Dental Hygiene Student
"Going back to college is worth the effort."
Monika left India a decade ago, and moved to Canada with her husband, a toddler and twins on the way. Once her family settled in to their new home in Victoria, she found part-time employment with Island Health as part of a dental care team that provided an in-school screening service for kindergarten students. When that two-year program came to an end, Monika continued working for Island Health as an Audiometric Technician, continuing on a part-time basis so she also had time to be "Mom."
As her children got older and a bit more independent, Monika started to think more about her career future. Her current job was steady, but she didn't see any room for advancement. Thinking back to her time with the dental team, she recalled how inspired she felt when she was involved in preventive care for children.
Looking into Camosun's Dental Hygiene program, Monika discovered that she needed a year of university transfer courses to meet the program's admission requirements. Attending full-time, she would be able to complete the required courses in eight months, but instead, she decided on a part-time study option with evening courses so she could look after her children during the day; it took her two years to finish the ten courses.
By the time Monika started Dental Hygiene in 2013, her children were old enough that she felt comfortable committing to the full-time program. She appreciates the support she received from her family to follow her dream. Her children especially have motivated her to work hard to succeed.
"They keep checking on me, so I have to do well," said Monika. "Every day they ask me what I'm learning, and how I am doing. And when they see me studying at home, they realize they have to do their homework too. Because if Mom can do it, so can they."
It hasn't always been easy, balancing school and home life and continuing to work part-time as well. At one point Monika was ready to quit. "As a student and a parent, you go up and down, as different challenges come your way. But my instructors were very supportive, and they encouraged me to keep going. I'm glad I listened to them."
Going into her final semester, Monika sums up her experience. "I know it will be worth the effort. I'm looking forward to graduating, and making my children proud of me."
Ready for a new challenge?
Camosun offers a wide variety of health care programs, leading graduates to meaningful and rewarding careers. The popular Dental Hygiene and Certified Dental Assistant programs exemplify Camosun's philosophy of blending relevant in-class learning with hands-on practical experience.
Dental students develop valuable skills by caring for patients in the Dental Health Clinic which is open to the public and offers a variety of low-cost preventive services.
Last updated: September 23, 2015 5:05 pm