Published On: Thu, Sep 26th, 2013

Randolph native employed at Dental Wellness Center in Norfolk

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RANDOLPH — A six-week summer program in Omaha helped Randolph native Erin Anderson realize her career calling … dentistry.

Today, Anderson is settling into her first full-time position at the Dental Wellness Center, Norfolk. She started June 24.

And, her transition into the working world has gone smoothly so far, thanks to the wonderful people in the office who are willing to answer any questions she may have along the way, she said.

“It is very nice to have an open line of communication with my co-workers,” she added.

Anderson was born and raised in Randolph and attended elementary and high school there. She earned a diploma from Randolph High School in 2005.

She then went to Dana College and started by majoring in education, but Anderson switched to biology while still a freshman, since her goal was to pursue a career in the medical field.

Two years into college, Anderson decided to apply for, and was accepted to, the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program in Omaha.

“My chemistry teacher said I should apply for it since I was pre-med at the time and [they] knew it would be a good experience,” she said.

She started the six-week program in May 2007 and finished in mid-July. Students from all over the country enroll in this program.

“During the program, we took classes and had speakers that talked about science, math, and ethics in the medical/dental field,” Anderson said.

They also participated in simulations and worked on mannequins, which allowed them to see what it is like to be a physician or dentist.

Anderson remembers doing an activity on a mannequin and smiling the entire time. That was when she fell in love with the dentistry field.

She returned to Dana College and graduated in 2009. During her remaining two years there, she met Heath. They eventually tied the knot in July 2012.

Anderson then entered the College of Dentistry at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha.

“Receiving an excellent dental education at the University of Nebraska Medical Center was a great experience and has prepared me to provide the utmost care for people,” she said.

When the time came to start looking for a job, choosing to apply in smaller towns was an easy decision for Anderson.

Growing up in a small town in Nebraska helped her realize the importance of family and enjoying the simple things in life.

“I knew I wanted to return to the area to raise my family and give them the opportunity to experience the same great things I did,” Anderson said.

She started at the Dental Wellness Center and is one of three dentists. There are also nine dental hygienists on staff.

Though Anderson likes her job, one difficulty she faces is being confident knowing a professor is no longer double checking her work.

“I am also nervous because now I am the one making decisions for my patients on my own,” she said.

But the transition has been easier thanks to the other doctors being so helpful and open to answering her questions, she added.

And, Anderson constantly reminds herself of all the hard work she did to get to this point, which boosts her confidence.

Anderson is the daughter of Dennis and Gail Bazata, Randolph. She and her husband, Heath, who is a science teacher at Plainview Public School, live in Norfolk.

In her spare time, she enjoys playing sports like volleyball, watching and attending Husker events and hanging out with family and friends.

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