My Erasmus+ placement in Athens: what a great experience!

Erasmus+ placement…Erasmus+ placement is an opportunity for me, given by the European Union, to experience different things, meet new people and see how different is one university from another, in terms of working at the clinic, lecturing, discussing articles, way of thinking…

After I graduated, I went to the International Office of my university to ask for an Erasmus+ placement, as I can do it even one year after my graduation, and they were more than welcome to give me the Erasmus+ placement. The next step was to find a responsible Professor at the university of my choice, and in this case it was the University of Athens. I asked at the Paediatric Dentistry Department of Athens, and Associate Professor A. Kavvadia was happy to accept me. And here I am, the first day of October, to start my internship at the Master of Paediatric Dentistry in Athens.

I went at the clinic, and it was full of girls, plus all the auxiliaries, except for one boy! Outside, in the waiting room, a massive number of people were waiting to be treated and the girls were ready to start. I was there to help them and learn from their own ways of how to manage the children and how to treat them. After the day has finished I took off my own conclusions:

  1. They are working non-stop from 8 a.m. till 3 p.m. but they are enjoying it!
  2. They can cope with any situation including children at a very young age, children with special health care needs, children with multiple caries, children with traumas, multiple emergencies, loads of appointments.. etc.
  3. Even though there is a great number of patients and the work is continuous, the clinic is always clean and the secretary is keeping up-to-date all the information and the treatments done in patients, while at the same time is checking if the appointment schedule is under control.
  4. At the clinic, they always have at least one clinical professor available to advise them if they are in need of.
  5. I knew from the very first day that during these 3 months I will be continuously learning and absorbing new information.
  6. And the most important thing: If children know that will get a present by the end of treatment, will always do their best!!

During the next days, I got used to the program that included the clinic, lectures, articles discussion and teaching at the undergraduates at the preclinics and everything went smoothly.

I was also lucky to be able to go once a week to an institution, where the postgraduate students of paediatric dentistry are working voluntary for children with physical and mental impairments.

Furthermore, I met a lot of Professors with a great knowledge that want to pass it on and I took advantage of that, so that I can learn more. The postgraduate students are so warm and close to me, and I always feel comfortable with them, asking them whatever is crossing my mind especially for behavior management of children with medical or dental diseases and mental disabilities. I think that’s the most difficult part, as these children deserve to get the appropriate attention and they deserve to be treated in an ethical manner. In the beginning, it seemed quite difficult to manage some specific children, but now it got so much better!

After these three months, I can say that I feel like home here, because the people that are surrounding the Master of Paediatric Dentistry and especially Professor Kavvadia, is giving me the most of it, and I need to say here, that I’m grateful for all this!

I’m very happy of taking the advantage of this opportunity and I DEFINITELY recommend this worthwhile experience to any student!

This article was written by our student Triantafyllia Vagdouti


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