A Week In The Life of a DCT.... MaxFac at Luton & Dunstable with Aruna Ubhi

So here's the first entry for my recent DCT competition... with Aruna Ubhi

Aruna Ubhi, DCT1 in MaxFac at Luton & Dunstable Hospital


I work in the Oral and Maxillofacial Department at Luton and Dunstable Hospital, one of the busiest units in the country. After armouring myself with Weetabix for breakfast, I arrive for the 8am morning round. We are a large team with 8 consultants - so usually over 20 of us go to review our inpatients on the wards and see how they are doing post surgery, or to plan what emergency surgery they need if they were admitted overnight. We are well known in the hospital to be a big team as we often block the corridor on the ward round! Following this, we all separate to get into our jobs for the day...


On Mondays I will be on call - which includes covering trauma in A&E that relates to the head and neck. As you can imagine, this can be a cornucopia of injuries such as broken mandibles, gruesome lacerations on the face and large swellings. It is extraordinary to see a broken jaw for the first time and even more extraordinary to see it fixed. 

On Tuesdays, I might be assisting in theatre which may be simple or complex extractions on children and adults. I am slowly feeling much more confident with surgical extractions, including impacted wisdom teeth. We also do salivary gland operations, cyst removals and not to forget, major head and neck cancer cases. As I was previously in general practice, I found dealing with patients with cancer very upsetting and difficult. This job has shown me key communication skills and gives me hope when watching the team of wizards magically tirelessly operate to remove cancer and save lives. 

On Wednesday and Thursdays, my job is seeing patients who have been referred to us from general practitioners and other specialities. Largely, these may include difficult extractions and unusual patches, lumps and bumps. History taking is key to diagnosis - and we have been trained to have a set of differential diagnoses before even doing special tests. Often the clinic appointments will lead to teeth extractions, biopsies and regular reviews. We also get unusual cases which can be complex to manage, including oral manifestation of Crohn's disease, burning mouth syndrome and squamous cell carcinomas. These cases usually require input from consultants to allow the patient to have the most appropriate care. 

On Fridays I do minor oral surgery cases under LA - these include biopsies, tooth extractions and soft tissue surgery such as mucoceole removal. 


I am only 4 months in and every day still surprises me. This job is completely different to general practice and requires adaptation, teamwork and broad knowledge. I feel very lucky to be able to be part of many of these difficult cases and ultimately improves patients' lives. The NHS is truly wonderful and despite all of the setbacks, I am confident we provide good care in our department. I am part of a supportive team who put patients' best interests first and I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. 



Thanks Aruna for your enlightening entry! What an excellent start to the competition. Look out for more entries to come. There's also still time to enter if you are a DCT...


To ENTER: email your submission via the contact page on the blog
DEADLINE January 31st 2020

Winner to be announced in February

And GOOD LUCK!


Do you have any questions about DCT or the competition ? Let me know in the comments below. 



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