Perspectives of staff on student outreach placements.
ABSTRACT To explore the perspectives of placement staff on outreach training.
Block clinical placements in primary care settings for dental undergraduates and hygiene and therapy students.
After completion of the placements, 32 participating staff across nine primary care locations took part in qualitative interviews and focus groups. The staff provided data on placement organisation, the students' development and their supervision, and any effects on themselves as hosts.
The major themes included the learning environment, supervision and communication. The staff saw benefits to students in working in a smaller primary care clinic with nursing support and immediately available supervision by a dental generalist. Other benefits included increased confidence, broader clinical experience and applying theoretical learning to new communities. Effective communication and adequate resourcing were critical success factors. There was some disruption of clinics' normal working, but many unanticipated benefits. Staff supported the outreach placements in primary care settings to enhance students' dental education.
These findings provide a planning and evaluation framework for dental educators involved in outreach.
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ABSTRACT: The aim of this project was to explore the process of change in a busy community dental clinic following a team development intervention designed to improve the management of student supervision during clinical placements.BMC Medical Education 08/2014; 14(1):182. · 1.41 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Staff views on a rural clinical placement involving 4th year dental undergraduates from the University of Sydney (Australia) were collected in order to monitor whether the programme was feasible and acceptable to the academic Faculty Staff and the rural clinical supervisors. An evaluation of the rural placement programme was undertaken in 2009 at three rural sites in New South Wales (Australia). Semi-structured pre- and post-placement in person interviews recorded the views of three University Faculty Staff whilst similar data were collected by telephone interviews for three supervising clinicians at the rural clinical sites. Interviews gathered opinions on the organisation, implementation and outcomes of the rural placement programme. Eight qualitative analysis identified themes were specified and included communication, programme duration, effect on students and staff, benefits of the programme, rural intentions, programme sustainability and the success of the programme. Positive pre-placement aspects were potentially good clinical experience, new environment, sharing of knowledge and interaction with a rural community. Negative issues were anxieties about students' clinical ability to offer a service, missing lectures and maintaining clinical training quotas. The post-placement themes were generally positive; staff reported that the students enjoyed the rural community experience, their communication and clinical skills improved. According to the staff, the placement programme was feasible and provided acceptable positive clinical and personal development for the students. This research will help educators planning to incorporate a rural clinical programme into a University curriculum.European Journal Of Dental Education 02/2013; 17(1):e100-8. · 1.45 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Access to dental care in the predominantly rural state of Tasmania remains challenged by the shortage of dental professionals. Without a dental school, Tasmania is dependent on dentists who have relocated from interstate or overseas. Within the public sector, which experiences intractable problems with recruitment and retention of dentists, dental visit patterns are characterised by a high proportion of episodic urgent care, lengthy waiting lists for comprehensive care and absence of recall. Coping with the level of demand for urgent care is a crucial element facing rural public dental services and the factors that underpin access to services and patient visit interactions are directly related to this level of demand. Recently, Tasmanian government-employed dentists argued that they were only 'fire-fighters' who attempt to manage patient load/time management in response to patient's general health, urgent dental needs and perceived levels of interest in oral health care. There were strong indications that expanding the capacity and the flexibility of the workforce would contribute to improved interactions with patients and improve access to a broader range of dental care within public sector clinical services. A unique agreement between the University of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Government in 2005 considered an innovative method to attract new dental graduates to Tasmania. In partnership with the University of Adelaide, the agreement set in motion an ongoing formal clinical attachment and scholarship scheme for dental students to undertake part of their final year of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery in the Tasmanian public sector. The objectives of this program included a concerted attempt to minimise the 'firefighter' perception of rural public dentistry. In this paper, the overarching problem of improving access to appropriate and affordable health care for rural communities is discussed in the context of government salaried dentists' perception of themselves as 'firefighters'. A strategy to address this perception, the clinical placements for final year dental students, is described and the results of a qualitative evaluation of the first cohort are analysed. The evaluation identified host benefits of the program including raising the profile of best practice and increasing staff sense of worth. In addition to high quality experiential learning opportunities, the placement program increased the capacity for autonomous clinical decisions, continuity of care and improved social interaction during dental visits as ways to minimise the perception of public sector dentists as 'fire-fighters'.