Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Why Do I Blog? Dental Nursing Journal Article

I've been blogging for over 4 years now... but why do I do it? What would be my top tips for aspiring bloggers?



Why did I start my blog?


I started my blog during the time between finishing university and starting my first job. I had 3 months to kill and while others were off travelling in their last summer before starting their careers, I spent the time setting up my own website: A TOOTH GERM

I always wanted to start my own blog after following a few others (mostly in beauty, fashion or travelling), but it seemed to take a back seat over university life! After a few months it became an addiction of mine; a creative outlet and actually it has really helped me develop my writing skills. 


What have I learnt over the years?


Over the 4 years of blogging, my style has been refined and has changed alongside my professional development. The main things I've learnt are:

  • Pick your audience and tailor your style of writing specifically to them. Do not try to cover all bases as people come to blogs for specific reasons 
  • Quality not quantity is important. I used to blog every couple of days, but with every changing content, not only was my work-life balance not great, but readers could't keep up
  • Blog posts should not be too long. It's better to split into separate posts with links between them as readers want bite sized portions of information


Is blogging just for dentists?


No! Blogging can be for anyone; not even just individuals, but groups of dental professionals or dental practices. 

The important thing is to find your audience and blog about something you care about! Whether you're a dentist, dental nurse, dental technician or dental student!


To read the full article in the Dental Nursing Journal, click here


If you have any queries please let me know in the comments below.



Thursday, 25 October 2018

Demystifying Clinical Governance...

So with less than a month left until Dental Foundation Training interviews... time to brush up on that clinical governance knowledge...



What is Clinical Governance?


Clinical governance is an NHS quality assurance framework which ensures organisations are accountable for continuous quality improvement and safeguarding high standards of care. 

However you remember the definition of clinical governance, word it in a way you remember and what comes across naturally especially in an interview situation. 


What are the Themes?


A well known mnemonic to remember the themes is PACCER PIRATES. But what does this stand for?

Patient and public involvement - such as patient feedback forms, engagement events

Access - fair and accessible care to all groups as well as access to emergency slots

Clinical records - the 4 Cs of records: clear, complete, concise and contemporaneous 

Child protection and Safeguarding - appropriate training, recording of concerns

Emergencies - needle sticks, adverse incidents, medical emergencies

Risk Management - how to perform a risk assessment 


Prevention and Public Health - such as use of Delivering Better Oral Health guidelines

Infection Control - HTM 01-05

Radiology and Radiography - guidelines such as IRR and IRMER 

Audit - to read more about audit click here

Teamwork - scope of practice, effective teamwork

Evidenced-based Dentistry - to read more about EBD click here

Safety - patient saftey such as COSHH and RIDDOR



The important thing with clinical governance in interview situations like DFT or DCT, is that you link your knowledge of clinical governance to a particular scenario they may give you... this demonstrates understanding. If you list issues without linking them to a scenario, you are just proving you are good at memorising lists!


If you have any queries please let me know in the comments below.


Saturday, 13 October 2018

Dental Foundation Training: An Update with Dental Training Consultants

This year I have joined the fabulous Dental Training Consultants (DTC) Team to lecture on their Dental Foundation Training Mock Interview Course...

All set to go in London


This is the fourth year I've been lecturing about Dental Foundation Training (DFT) interview preparation and this year I've joined DTC on their courses across the UK; from London, to Bristol, to Leeds and Manchester next week. 

I've blogged every year about DFT recruitment, as the process changes (see last year's post here) and it's important for those applying to ensure they know the process inside and out!

Changes This Year


  1. Pre-release of scenarios: Last year, both stations were released a week before the interviews. This year this has changed again with only the communication station being released beforehand this year. 
  2. Minimum score on the Situational Judgement Test (SJT): This is completely new with the minimum score being 8 out of 80 (pretty achievable!). If this is not achieved, the candidate will be excluded from the recruitment process. There is no minimum score on the stations
  3. Timing of offers: This has historically been around January time; however, this meant that when BDS results were released in May/June, that offers had to be revoked and reallocated with those who did not achieve their BDS. This year, the offers process will be in June so that this situation is avoided. 

Top Tips


If you're still looking to attend a mock interview course, there are a few places left for the DTC course in Leeds next weekend (Oct 21st).... but here is a snippet of some of my top tips:
  • Preparation is key. You will not perform well if you do not prepare
  • Practice practice practice. With friends, colleagues, clinical supervisors both the PML and communication stations
  • Practice SJT questions, even try writing some example questions and ask your tutors to help you rank questions
  • Make sure you read all the emails through Oriel well and prepare any documents or paperwork days before your interview or SJT 
  • Make sure you know the GDC Standards of Care for Dental Professionals back to front
  • Look at the marking schemes for each station which are available on the COPDEND website

This process can be stressful, but it is as fair as it can be. You may not get your first choice, but ultimately DFT is only one year and there will be ways you can make the most of your year! Don't let it distract you from achieving that BDS! Good luck!



If you have any queries please let me know in the comments below.


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