Though she’s not sure why, Alexandria Yardley has wanted to work in the dental field since she was a child.
“Literally since I was in kindergarten, I told everyone that’s what I wanted to do,” she said.
She’s now living her dream of running ‘Peace Country Mobile Dental Hygiene’, her own practice in High Prairie, Alberta.
While Alexandria has an office space in town, the bulk of her services are mobile. She visits nearby First Nations’ reserves, seniors homes and other locations where people have a hard time accessing regular dental hygiene care.
“I wanted to reach out to those who are unable to access continual dental care,” she said. “Lots of people from reserves get inconsistent care due to travel or health issues and no one is currently going into those in my area. Some of the people I serve haven’t been to a dental hygienist or dentist in 25 years. Lots of clients couldn’t get to me, so I figured, I can get to them.”
Having grown up in a small town in the Okanagan, Alexandria said she didn’t want to live “the big city life” and study dental hygiene in a place like Vancouver. She chose the College of New Caledonia in Prince George instead.
“I just loved it,” she said. “It was really demanding but well worth it.”
One of her favourite parts about CNC’s program was learning and practising her skills at the College’s clinic.
“From talking to other people, you get the most one-on-one time with patients at CNC,” she said. “This makes you more confident in your practice. It’s one thing to have academic knowledge, but it really makes a difference when you have real world experience.”
Alexandria also appreciated the knowledge and experience of the instructors.
“The connections the teachers provided and the resources they gave us were amazing,” she said, adding that CNC has a great reputation in the dental community and many dentists opt to hire CNC grads first.
Alexandria graduated with her Dental Hygiene Diploma in 2013 and was immediately hired at a clinic in High Prairie, Alberta. She stayed at that clinic until she opened her own practice in April 2018.
With plans on becoming a dentist, Alexandria will start her degree in Dental Hygiene at the University of Alberta next year.