The team at Avalon Family Dentistry is blessed to have the opportunity to serve at the Seattle King County Clinic(SKCC) for the second year in a row. The volunteering is an incredible experience!
The SKCC is truly an amazing undertaking of volunteers from all over our area (and beyond – we met a dentist and his dental assistant sister from Montana, who came to Seattle just for the weekend to volunteer). This year the clinic was able to see and treat over 4,900 patients. Friday, when Dr. Lee, Tanya, and Cristi volunteered, was eleven hours of fast-paced work. The three were able to work together in Dental Triage. This meant that Tanya and Cristi were also assisting NINE other dentists (so ten, including Dr. Lee). These ten dentists, Tanya, Cristi, and our Montana dental assistant were tasked with the responsibility of performing dental screenings on 750 patients.
The prior year, Tanya assisted a dentist with fillings, and Cristi assisted a dentist performing oral surgery. Tanya and Cristi both feel that Dental Triage was much more challenging, but also as rewarding, if not more.
In Dental Triage, the team was asked to pinpoint each person’s main concern. This year, at the clinic, patients were allowed one service(or area worked on) per day. The patients did have the option, and were encouraged, to return on Saturday or Sunday if they required more treatment. As assistants, Tanya and Cristi helped facilitate interpreters for patients, as there were easily 14 different languages spoken. They were also often the first point of contact for many patients. It was extremely rewarding to help ease patient’s concerns, to help make sure their needs were being heard and met, and to make sure each of the 750 patients that day left Triage knowing they were cared about.
The patients that our team encountered at the SKCC were so extremely appreciative. Their words of thanks were loud and clear, no matter what language was actually being spoken. Many patients gave us hugs and let us know how much they appreciated our hard work that they witnessed while waiting to be seen.
Your Federal Way dental team takes their hats off to the volunteers that work all four days of the clinic. We truly do not know how they have the energy for it! Our hope is that we will continue to have the opportunity to volunteer at this clinic.
For those of you who are interested in helping in an endeavor like this……it requires hundreds upon hundreds of volunteers. Volunteers are need for set-up, take-down, many general support volunteers are needed each day the clinic sees patients. Consider joining us in the years to come! Here is the link to the clinic and a link to their Facebook page!