Isabelle Chevrier goes above and beyond her role as a Dental Assistant

February 2016
Isabelle Chevrier, centre, with former students at her sides at the opening event of the new facility.

Isabelle Chevrier, centre, with former students at her sides at the opening event of the new facility.

Isabelle Chevrier loves discovering new people and places which makes her a perfect fit for her role of Dental Assistant in the Undergraduate Teaching Clinic, welcoming new students every year and helping them navigate the transition from the Simulation Lab to the Clinic. She also spends her time and energy overseeing the volunteers for the Summer Clinic or volunteering herself. She recently celebrated her 10 year wedding anniversary with her husband on the Island of Roatan. Outside of work Isabelle enjoys life in a quiet town on the South Shore gardening (with the help of colleague Tracy Berube) and taking care of her teenage step-daughter.

What is your role in the Faculty of Dentistry?

My role is to help our third and fourth year dental students to become the best dentists around!  That means supporting them but also helping them organize their operatories, set up their working environment and preparing all the necessary instruments and materials needed for the treatment. I also ensure that students follow specific infection control guidelines In order to protect themselves, the staff and their patients.

Being efficient and well organized reduces the stress level and makes the whole procedure more of a pleasant experience both for the patient and the student.
A big part of my job is also to attend to the patients comfort. The patient is the priority! I try to share this principle with the students.

My other roles in the faculty are to work closely with my colleagues (we all have an important role and our team work makes a real difference!) and to manage the volunteers for the Summer Clinic. TOGETHER, EVERYONE ACCOMPLISHES MORE!

How has your role changes since moving into the new facility?

With the new facility I no longer have to share my time between the dispensary and clinic floor. This means more time to do chair side assistance and allows students to experience four handed dentistry. They get exposed to better efficiency and minimal strains that four handed dentistry offers. It increases productivity and reduces stress and fatigue.

What are 3 words to describe your role?

Anticipation/ Caring/ Proactive

Why did you chose to become a dental assistant?

I was debating between becoming a dental hygienist or a dental assistant. After spending a day in a friend’s dental practice, I knew dental assistance was for me! It suited my personality. The tasks performed by the DA were various and required strong communication skills along with many different responsibilities. I was impressed with the way the DA was the dentist’s right hand!

You organise all of the volunteers for the Summer Clinic. How did you get involved in this and what does it mean to you to have such a huge responsibility in making sure the clinic runs smoothly?

I’ve been involved with the Summer Clinic since I began working in the Undergraduate Teaching Clinic. Dr. Myers asked me to take on the role of organising the volunteers just last summer and I really enjoyed doing it. The Summer Clinic gets very busy and having support from these wonderful volunteers reduces the overall stress level for all of us! There was about 15 volunteers per half day helping out in the clinic last year so they are really a huge part of the success of the clinic.

It is a big responsibility sifting through all of the emails that the Faculty gets for volunteers and selecting the right people for the job. I make sure that everyone knows and is comfortable with the protocol that we use in the clinic when it comes to helping with patients to infection control.

Last year I was very pleased with the great group of volunteers that we had. They were such a reliable and efficient group.

What do you find the most challenging about your position?

Dealing with so many different personalities! Over the years and after going through some difficult workplace interpersonal relationships, I have learned to adjust and compromise.
I try to do to others what I am expecting from others! I do not always succeed but I really believe that this is key to a successful and positive workplace.

What is your proudest moment with the Faculty?

When I won the most valuable person Award as a support staff in 2014. Our Dean had called me personally to congratulate me! I just could not believe it!

Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us?

I graduated as a DA in 2001 and continued on to the Multidisciplinary Residency Program at the Jewish General Hospital. This amazing experience led to a great opportunity to apply for a position in the Faculty of Dentistry at McGill. I began my career working in the Faculty Practice Clinic (satellite clinic) with the professors for over 8 years before I started working in the Undergraduate Teaching Clinic in 2012.

I have also participated in 5 dental humanitarian missions with Kindness in Action and the Dental Bear Team! These were lifetime changing experience for me!

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