April Good News at TMCC

Rebecca A. Eckland
dental hygiene student and dr david lund

Dr. David Lund uses metaphor, humor and positive reinforcement to recognize student success. Dr. Lund will retire this semester after twelve years at TMCC.

Dr. David Lund Retires after 12 Years of Dedicated Service

Dr. David Lund began working at TMCC as a Part-time Supervising DDS in the Dental Hygiene program in January 2007 after leaving a lifetime of acting as a dental professional in the Army Dental Corps that led into a 20-year career of running his own dental practice in nearby Gardnerville. Dr. Lund, who loves learning, embraced his role at the college that enabled him to utilize his gift to, as he says, “s’plain.”

“My staff [at his private practice] always said that I explain things well,” said Dr. Lund whose role at TMCC has evolved from clinical to include the classroom where he engages students with anecdotal accounts of his dental practice paired with colorful phrases from years past and clever metaphors. He credits his success to the Professional Development opportunities offered at the college which taught him to use various methods to engage students other than “Death by PowerPoint.” Yet, as his long-time colleague, Director of Dental Hygiene Lori McDonald points out, this is evidence of Dr. Lund’s dedication to the program and his students.

As the Dental Supervisor, Dr. Lund works in the TMCC Dental Clinic, overseeing student work and stepping in case of a medical emergency. He is also the final deciding factor for referring a patient to an outside clinic—or back to their regular dental provider—if restorative care is required. Dr. Lund, though, does this work as a true mentor: using his lifetime of experience to make clinical and classroom time meaningful.

“I learned so many things from my mentors,” said Dr. Lund. “I remember once, I worked on a project all night and when I presented it into my mentor the next day, he said: ‘what will you do if that doesn’t work?’” That experience was the inspiration for the quote Dr. Lund has become known for: “Usually, your Plan A will not work out, so make sure you have a Plan B, C, and D.” These are words his students live by, and before crossing the graduation stage, they often assure him “I have my Plan B, Dr. Lund.”

“I’m a metaphor, simile, and analogy person,” he said to explain the methods by which he communicates with not only students but also with patients who come to the clinic. “If a tooth is a tire in a shop, and the mechanic tells you it’s threadbare, you probably don’t want to take a long trip on that tire. It’s just like that with a damaged tooth—and metaphors like that, they help people to understand the link between oral and systemic health and the financial implications of a lack of dental care.”

Despite his innovative methods, Dr. Lund insists he’s giving students a basic set of tools that they will need for their work as dental professionals—yet, they are tools that will last a lifetime because they are so memorable. “He gives us starfish,” said Dental Hygiene student Marlayna Martinez, citing Dr. Lund’s practice of using positive reinforcement to catch students “doing something right.”

Dr. Lund will use his retirement to continue his love of learning and to watch his son graduate from Dental School, and who will start a practice of his own. “I’m going to miss teaching,” he said. “My students teach me so much. In fact, I had to ask my son, what does it mean when the students say ‘I’m so sick?’ My son told me: ‘that means you’re awesome, Dad.’”

Nursing Instructor Heidi Julius Earns Prestigious Credential

Anyone wishing to become a licensed nurse in the United States must pass an exam called the NCLEX, which covers all the material contained within a nursing student’s education. The test is intended to demonstrate competency across the skills required for the profession. Recently, TMCC Nursing Instructor Heidi Julius demonstrated competence to the next level by taking and passing an exam to become a “Certified Medical Surgical Registered Nurse.”

The certification, which requires applicants to already be a Registered Nurse who has practiced for two years as an RN in a medical-surgical setting and has accrued 2,000 hours of practice within the last three years, validates excellence and mastery in the field.

According to the MSNCB Certification Board, “Certification is the recognized path for registered nurses to build and demonstrate commitment, confidence, and credibility. Certification provides an added credential beyond licensure. It demonstrates, by examination, that the Registered Nurse adheres to specialized nursing standards and has acquired a core body of specialized knowledge in their practice or specialty.”

The three-hour exam requires 71% correct answers in order for applicants to pass. In 2018, 7,004 qualified professionals took the exam, but only 81% of them passed the first time.

“It’s a great way to show expertise in your field,” said Julius. “I wanted to challenge myself. I haven’t done any exams to prove my knowledge. This opportunity enabled me to do that, and to demonstrate my value to our students and the institution.”

Darryl Cleveland Re-Conferred as Chief Fire Officer

Director of Public Safety Training Chief Darryl Cleveland was recently re-conferred as a “Chief Fire Officer.” This is the third time Cleveland has been conferred with this designation, which requires mastery of 20 technical competences, three letters of reference, proof of ongoing professional development, which includes education, additional certifications, completion of training or courses that are articulated in a plan in which applicants look to develop themselves through their career and in their ability to contribute to the local and national community.

Accreditation must be renewed every three years, through a lengthy application process that is reviewed by the Commission of Professional Credentialing (CPC). There are only 1,362 Chief Fire Officers worldwide. “The designation shows one’s professional development and involvement in a number of areas,” said Cleveland who received notice that he was re-conferred last month.

“I came into my role at TMCC with this designation and I want to maintain it,” he said. “It not only grants me credibility as Director of the program, but it also allows me to encourage students to continue on their professional path. This is especially important when you’re coming into your profession, it’s important to remember that a career is on-going and requires lifelong learning. There are opportunities for you to learn and grow as you progress through your chosen career.”