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Dental Student Overcomes Phobia to Achieve Success

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Khuong, a University of Alberta student who graduated with a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, developed a fear of needles when she was a child, when nurses at a hospital tried multiple times to insert an IV after she became dehydrated. 

?My mom says they tried everywhere, head to toe, all over my body,? Khuong said to the Edmonton Journal. ?Ever since then, I couldn?t handle needles. And it got worse as I got older.?

With the desire to become a dentist, it was sink or swim for Khuong when it came to achieving her dream of becoming a dentist.

?Between changing my career path and getting over my phobia, I chose the second one,? Khuong said. ?It was a fear, but it was one that I figured at some point I?d get over.?

Khuong remembers during her anesthesia courses that she could barely inject the chicken breast. ?When I first walked in that room, every single inch of me wanted to just run away and scream and I had to stay in the room,? she said.

After a suggestion to try hypnotherapy by 1 of her professors, Khuong was able to finally start controlling her fear. Today, Khuong can administer needles to her patients without a hitch, making sure to practice extreme caution and diversion tactics for patients who might have the same fear she did.

?I just don?t want anyone else feeling what I would have felt if I was in the chair.?

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