Austyn Grissom - Class of 2018
Hi Austyn! We heard that you went on a mission trip this summer! Where did you go and for how long?
I went to Trujillo, Honduras for 10 days at the beginning of our summer break.
Who did you go on the trip with?
There were 95 people on the mission with us. The group was made up of surgeons, nurses, optometrists, speech pathologists, pharmacists, and many others who were willing to serve.
What type of procedures did you do? How many patients were treated?
Our dental team was administering fluoride treatments and extracting teeth. We treated a different village each day; we were able to see over 300 patients and extracted 490 teeth.
Could you tell us about the conditions you worked in?
Our clinic was set up in a building that a church from Ohio built about 10 years ago. The church actually had medical & dental missionaries working in that facility full time for several years so the setup was pretty nice and similar to what we have in the States, minus the central air-conditioning and running water.
What was your favorite part?
The people. They were so happy to have us there and grateful for the care that we were able to provide to them. No matter how hot it was or how long they had to wait, there was always going to be a hug, handshake, or “gracias” at the end of the procedure.
What was your least favorite part?
The communication barrier. Even though we had a couple of awesome translators, it still takes an aspect of patient care away when you’re communicating through a third party.
What is your advice for anyone who is looking to go on a mission trip while in dental school?