(HARLINGEN, Texas) – Texas State Technical College alumna Lily Conde, a Rio Hondo resident, knew the medical field was her calling. She had a great high school experience as an active member of the Health Occupations Students of America.
That interest led her to enroll in TSTC’s Dental Hygiene program. She earned a certificate of completion in Dental Assistant in July 2010. Three years later, she returned to TSTC and earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene.
For a few years, she worked as a part-time dental hygienist with Legacy Dental in Brownsville and De La Rosa & Martinez Dentistry in San Benito for one year. Then she began full-time employment in the same role with De La Rosa & Martinez Dentistry.
She enjoyed impacting her patients’ lives.
“I visited with patients for a routine cleaning, analyzed dental X-rays, performed deep cleanings, educated patients about oral hygiene, and other duties,” she said. “Throughout my 11 years, I have helped patients achieve the best oral hygiene and build their confidence. And I have a great support system through my husband, children and my mother.”
Conde decided to continue her education online through the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. She earned a Bachelor of Applied Technology in Health Services Technology in December 2020 – and maintained a 4.0 grade point average while in the program.
In recent years, she accepted the role of extended practicum instructor and oversees the practicum program at the Harlingen School of Health Professions.
“Some of my responsibilities consist of overseeing the dental, medical and pharmacy technician senior high school students,” she said. “They visit hospitals, pharmacies and dental offices, and they build rapport in the Harlingen community.”
Conde was recognized as Outstanding New Teacher of the Year by the Texas Health Occupations Association for her commitment to the school.
Recently, she was hired by TSTC’s Dental Hygiene program as their part-time evening instructor for the spring 2022 semester.
“I would have never been exposed to dental education if it was not for the TSTC instructors,” she said. “They were extremely helpful and guided me every step of the way. They helped me notice a completely different side of health care through an educational perspective. That is why I applied for the instructor position at TSTC. I want to give back.”
Raquel Rico, a TSTC Dental Hygiene lead instructor, said that Conde possesses the characteristics of a good instructor.
“Lily is patient and enjoys teaching,” she said. “She is very understanding, but knows when it is necessary to say no. We know she will have a good impact on the students. She has the passion for the profession and the care for her patients.”
According to onetonline.org, the need for dental hygienists in Texas is expected to grow 11% by 2028.
TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Dental Hygiene.
For more information about TSTC, visit tstc.edu.