Category Archives: Dental Hygiene

TSU clinics give students opportunity to engage in real-world professional experience while serving the community

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The pandemic has not stopped Tennessee State University’s clinics from caring for people in the community and providing real career experience for those interested in healthcare as a profession.

The College of Health Sciences has three clinics that provide services free of charge or based on the ability to pay. They are the Tiger Community Rehabilitation Clinic, Dental Hygiene Clinic, and Speech Pathology and Audiology Clinic. All three are continuing to provide service to the campus community, as well as people in the surrounding Nashville community.

The Tiger Community Rehab. Ctr. is the first student-run PT/OT clinic at a historically black institution. (TSU Media Relations)

“The three clinics offered through the College of Health Sciences are platforms not only for students to immerse themselves in their professions through faculty-supervised clinical instruction, but also for students and faculty to provide no- or low-cost care to the various communities they serve,” said Dr. Ronald Barredo, dean of the College of Health Sciences.

Dr. Rick Clark is assistant professor of physical therapy at TSU and director of the Tiger Community Rehabilitation Clinic, the first student-run physical therapy/occupational therapy clinic at a historically black institution.

Clark said the services of the Rehabilitation Clinic, as well as the other clinics, is more important now than ever.

“I think what we’re doing is absolutely so very, very needed,” said Clark, who was in the military for 25 years and ran multiple clinics. “With COVID-19, people are kind of confined to their homes, not getting out and being as active. We’re able to get them in and start getting them on that path to recovery, better health.”

Clark said the clinic mainly handles cases like knee injuries, shoulder pain, and lower back pain. The more serious cases are referred out to physical and occupational therapy clinics in the area.

“We want to make a difference in the lives of our patients, which is really what our goal is,” said Clark.

All the clinics, like the university as a whole, adhere to strict protocols to make sure that everyone is safe amid COVID-19.

“We have adjusted how we operate to make sure everyone is safe during the pandemic, but have not changed our quality of care,” said Amber Oliveri, a first-year graduate student from Ellicott City, Maryland, in the Master’s of Occupational Therapy Program.

“It’s been a challenge, but we’ve managed to keep all of our students, faculty and staff safe during the pandemic,” said TSU Professor Gary-Lee Lewis, head of the Dental Hygiene Clinic.

The Dental Hygiene Clinic provides service to close to 600 patients a year. (TSU Media Relations)

The clinic recently restarted in-person patient visits and provides services like cleanings, cancer screenings, and general patient education about good hygiene.

Before the pandemic, the dental clinic provided service to nearly 600 patients a year, including faculty and students, as well as the Nashville community.

Dental Hygiene major Cleopatra Peden acknowledged the pandemic has caused some of her peers in the program to reconsider their major. But the senior from Gallatin, Tennessee, is unwavering.

“The pandemic is not going to affect me continuing in this career,” said Peden. “Yes, there are safety concerns right now. But people still need dental care, they need us. And it just makes me want to help them that much more.”

Dr. Tina Smith is head of the Speech Pathology and Audiology Clinic. She said the audiology part of the clinic is not seeing patients right now because of the pandemic. However, she said the Department of Speech Pathology is using telepractice, or teletherapy, which has allowed first-year graduate students to continue seeing patients since the pandemic first started last year.

Matthew Norcia is a first-year grad student from Owensboro, Kentucky, majoring in Speech and Language Pathology. He said the transition to teletherapy was challenging initially, “especially for those of us who are having clients for the first time.”

“But with an extreme work ethic, we have been able to handle the adversity and continue to address the needs of each client and further develop their speech and language skills,” said Norcia. “Overall, this experience has been enlightening and beneficial as teletherapy may become a normal form of treatment even after the pandemic is over. Being able to continuously provide for the community through these trying times has been such a rewarding experience and we look forward to continuing our work.”

Speech Pathology’s telepractice allows students to continue seeing patients during the pandemic. (TSU Media Relations.)

The Tiger Community Rehabilitation Clinic is now located in the university’s new state-of-the-art Health Sciences Building, which has classrooms, spaces for clinical simulations, labs and offices. The Speech Pathology and Audiology Clinic is on TSU’s Avon Williams Campus near downtown Nashville, and the Dental Hygiene Clinic is in Clement Hall on the main campus. Students usually get top jobs in their fields upon graduation because of the real-world experience they receive at the clinics

Averie Conn recently received therapy at the Tiger Clinic and is glad she did.

“I have been having some neck and upper back pain that was interrupting my function and participation in some of the activities I want and need to be able to do,” said Conn. “The students and their supervisor who treated me helped reduce not only the pain I was having on the day I visited the clinic, but the days following as well. They were very helpful in talking me through what clinical signs and decisions they were making, and broke down the next steps I should take in a logical and easy-to-understand way.”

Conn said the Tiger Clinic, as well as the others offered at TSU, are “invaluable to the community.”

“Some of the barriers to accessing healthcare are the lack of public knowledge about how and where it is accessible, and how much the service is going to cost,” she said. “Unfortunately, many people are willing to live in discomfort, pain, or with other clinical symptoms simply because healthcare is not easily accessible or affordable.”

Hours of operation for the Tiger Community Rehabilitation Clinic are Fridays 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Health Sciences Building, Room 212). To make an appointment call: 615-815-4359, 615-963-7184 or email: TSUTigerClinic@gmail.com.

Services for the Speech Pathology and Audiology Clinic are currently being provided on Monday and Wednesday or Tuesday and Thursday 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. through telepractice. To make an appointment call: 615-963-7072.

The Dental Hygiene Clinic is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Hours of operation during the pandemic: On-site – Mondays and Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.    
Remote: Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
To make an appointment call: 615.963.5791 or email:DHClinic@tnstate.edu 

For more information about TSU’s College of Health Sciences, visit https://www.tnstate.edu/health_sciences/clinics.aspx.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and eight doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Students Express Mixed Feelings About Leaving Campus in Wake of Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Like many Tennessee State University students, Trenton Jones says he understands why TSU is asking them to go home, but many have mixed feelings about leaving their campus environment.  Students must vacate the campus by Saturday, March 21.

“The coronavirus is a big deal right now and this move is to help us stay healthy,” said Jones, a freshman agricultural science major, as he and his parents emptied out his dorm room in Watson Hall on Wednesday to head back home to Northport, Alabama.

Tyrani Randolph, left, a freshman dental hygiene major from Memphis, helps classmate Trenton Jones, second from right, move out of Watson Hall. Jones’ parents, Malcolm and Rhonda Skinner, travelled from Northport, Alabama, to pick up their son. (Photo by TSU Media Relations)

“Students need to stay functional and campus offers that,” added Jones. “Being on our own, and to do class online, you are missing that interaction with teachers and fellow students. Face-to-face is the best interaction for learning.” 

 Parents Ronda Skinner and her husband Malcolm, who travelled from Northport, Alabama, to pick up their son, Trenton, said the trip was inconvenient, “but worth it.”

“Due to the circumstances of the coronavirus, an epidemic that has hit our nation severely, it is understandable that the school would have to make this decision,” Rhonda Skinner said. “The fact that schools around the country had to make this decision, I do believe that it is in the best interest of the students, and comforting for parents.”

TSU President Glenda Glover said the decision was in the best interest of the university, as both the federal government and State of Tennessee have declared a state of emergency.

On March 16, TSU went online with all classes as a precaution to contracting and spreading coronavirus (COVID-19).

“While we have adjusted the traditional manner in which we serve our students, we are ensuring that they continue to learn and excel academically,” stated President Glover. “We are taking every precaution necessary to minimize the spread of the virus.” 

The university will soon serve as a mobile testing site. As further precaution, the university has canceled all campus events where large crowds are expected, as well as suspended all international travel through the end of April to minimize exposure to the disease. Also, beginning Monday, March 23, the university will cease normal operations, allowing most employees to work remotely.

Tyrani Randolph, a freshman dental hygiene major from Memphis, Tennessee, who moved out of Wilson Hall, agreed with her fellow classmate.

“I believe everything is for a reason, and I believe this is a safety precaution,” she said.

 Frank Stevenson, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, said the university understands the “anxiety that this change causes for students.”

“It is an interruption into their ‘normal’ way of doing things as students,” he said. “We are trying to mitigate the situation and help them work through those feelings.”

Stevenson said the university is following the Centers for Disease Control and Infections guidelines, and best practices recommendations, in accordance with instructions from the governor’s office.

On Monday, the University will begin a campus wide wipe down of academic buildings and residence halls.

 For more information on campus operations and student information, visit http://www.tnstate.edu/covid19/

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 39 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Kicks off Dual Enrollment Program with Apple Smart Technology Partnership

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – High school students looking to get an early start on college now have a home at Tennessee State University.

Dr. Robbie Melton, TSU Associate Vice President for Smart Technology and Innovation, conducts a coding class at Kenwood High School in Clarksville, Tennessee. (Submitted Photo)

Through its National Center for Smart Technology, the university has launched a dual enrollment program with three major school districts in the state that offers high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn college credits while enrolled in high school.

Participating school districts are Clarksville Montgomery County School System, Metro Nashville Public Schools, and Shelby County Schools.

Jalen Driskell and Larry Perry, 12th graders from Shelby County’s Trezevant High School in Memphis, are excited about the opportunity to earn early college credits. The two were among 130 students also from Pearl Cohn High, and Clarksville’s Kenwood High School, who participated in the Apple Coding class last fall as part of the dual enrollment program.

Officials from the TSU Office of Smart Technology and Innovation join faculty and staff of Kenwood High School to kick off the TSU-Apple-Kenwood Coding initiative. (Submitted Photo)

“I learned a lot from the initiative, especially working as a team,” said Driskell, who hopes to major in engineering after high school. “Being enrolled allows me to move ahead in receiving my college credits and to do better with time management.”

For Perry, he said the coding class was a lot of fun and increased his interest in doing more college work.

“Coding allowed me to gain the experience with talking to others versus typing,” he said. “Receiving this college credit allows me to be prepared for my future.”

Dr. Robbie Melton, TSU’s associate vice president for Smart Technology and Innovation, said with the Apple partnership, TSU has created an amazing opportunity for high school students to start coding and creating.

“All over the state, as well as all over the country, students are interested in coding and creativity,” said Melton. “With this dual enrollment program, it is unique in the fact that students across the state of Tennessee can now embrace the skills of coding and creativity through dual enrollment. We are positioned to provide coding and creativity on site and online, for high school students to have a pathway to our computer science and “Everyone Can Code and Create” curriculums at TSU.”

Dr. Johnnie C. Smith is the executive director of the TSU Dual Enrollment Partnerships. She said students who participate in the program must meet the TSU admission’s requirement. They must be beginning juniors with a GPA of 2.75 or better, and must have recommendations from their principals or guidance counselors to participate. In addition to the Apple coding curriculum, she said the program offers general education courses, as well as engineering and English composition. The courses are offered onsite and online.

“Like all other schools in the state, we are going after courses we know will count in different schools, like general education courses,” Smith said. “We are targeting students within the state of Tennessee. They will gain college credits to get a jump start on college and also use those credits to meet their high school requirements for graduation. We are really excited about the possibility of what this program can do at the institution.”

Some of the teachers whose students participated in the fall 2019 program said it was very beneficial and definitely makes the whole dual enrollment initiative more interesting.

“This program benefited our students by giving them the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of coding and inspired them to create something unique for a problem in their community,” said Abraham Wolfe, a high school AP Physics and Robotics teacher in the Clarksville Montgomery County School System.

Quanita Adams, a high school math teacher with Metro Nashville Public Schools, said, “The students enrolled in DE Coding this semester have tapped into a world that they may have not experienced elsewhere and produced amazing products in a short time.”

Herbert Vannostrand, a high school computer science teacher with the Shelby County Schools, agreed.

“The Apple Coding curriculum provided my students with a clear, concise, up-to-date and fun program to learn the Swift programming language, as well as bringing relevant up-to-date information about how coding can affect change in their lives,” Vannostrand said. “I recommend this program to any computer science teacher and I am ready to teach the course again next year.”

Dual enrollment is just one of many initiatives undertaken in the last year under the TSU-Apple partnership. In July, TSU launched HBCU C2 “Everyone Can Code and Create,” a national initiative supported by Apple, which seeks to bring coding experiences to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and underserved communities. To date, TSU has impacted 32 HBCUs with the HBCU C2 Initiative. Also, in July, TSU launched the first community “Everyone Can Code and Create” initiative for youth on its Avon Williams Campus. The initiative is also part of the National Center for Smart Technology Innovations.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State UniversityFounded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.