Emily DeAtley, a junior biology major and American Sign Language minor from Mountain Home, spent the summer gaining some valuable experience interning as a dental assistant and researcher in Ireland.
The future dentist interned at Burlington Dental Clinic in Dublin, Ireland, from June 3 to July 29. She spent her time researching the survival rates of veneers and dental implants, helping with laboratory work, and dental assisting with a prosthodontist, a dentist who specializes in treating complex dental and facial matters.
“While I’ve worked in a dental clinic before, I’ve never assisted with patients before,” DeAtley said. “I’ve never gotten to have that experience before this summer, and I learned a lot.”
When she wasn’t working or exploring Dublin, DeAtley also visited Belfast, Galway, and Kilkenny.
“I was living with a host family, and it was a very immersive experience,” DeAtley said. “I was thrown straight into what the family eats and does. I definitely loved the weather, which was between 50-60 degrees most of the time. Ireland has a very beautiful green landscape everywhere.”
At UA Little Rock, DeAtley is also a student orientation leader, a chemistry learning assistant, a member of the Wind Ensemble and Donaghey Scholars Honors Program, and secretary of the Campus Garden Alliance. Once she graduates in 2025, she plans to go to dental school, where the skills she learned over the summer will really come in handy.
“My favorite part of the summer was the experience I gained from dental assisting,” DeAtley said. “There was one point where two of their assistants got sick, and I had a lot of responsibility. I also learned that there isn’t just one way of doing dentistry. They do a lot of things differently in Ireland, but it was interesting to see it from a different perspective.”