For the past several years, as a result of the alliance between the NYU College of Dentistry and the NYU College of Nursing, students enrolled in the College of Nursing’s Advanced Practice Nursing Program in pediatrics, which prepares registered nurses to become pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs), have studied pediatric oral health as a formal part of their curriculum.
The fruits of this collaboration were in evidence recently at the Second Annual Collaborative Case Presentation by pediatric dentistry and pediatric nurse practitioner students. The presentation was moderated by Dr. Neal G. Herman, Clinical Professor of Pediatric Dentistry, and co-moderated by Dr. Donna Hallas, Clinical Associate Professor of Nursing and coordinator of the PNP program. Dr. Lily Lim, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatric Dentistry and Director of the Advanced Program in Pediatric Dentistry for Inter-national Dentists, was the presentation coordinator, and Ms. Jill B. Fernandez, Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatric Dentistry and Director of the Pediatric Dentistry Outreach Program, served as co-coordinator for the presentation, which drew more than 50 attendees from the pediatric dentistry program and the PNP program.
Two students in the Advanced Program in Pediatric Dentistry for International Dentists identified medically compromised pediatric dentistry patients with multiple caries, whose treatment plans were presented and discussed. Dr. Shereen Riad identified a patient with ventricular septal defect - a defect in the heart valves - and presented the case with Ms. Katie Shaw and Ms. Tashea Gallimore, both PNP students.
The second case - autism spectrum disorder - was identified by Dr. Nathalia Escossia and copresented with PNP program students Ms. Karyn Cherwinski and Ms. Erin Leech.
"For these children," said Professor Fernandez, "the medications they take to control their medical conditions can have important consequences for their oral health, which, until now, have not been a focus of the PNP curriculum.
"With the new focus on oral health in the training of PNPs," added Professor Fernandez, "we are optimistic that there will be more opportunities for children’s oral health to be integrated into their overall diagnoses and treatment plans."