A Week In The Life of a DCT... OMFS at Guildford with Charlie Devine

Another entry for my DCT competition... with Charlie Devine.

Charlie Devine DCT1 in OMFS at Guildford. 'This was a photo of me over the Christmas period one night on call. I was back in the on call room in my Christmas PJs, praying for no late night bleeps. I captioned it: On call, but still feeling festive.'

I'm Charlie and I'm an Oral and Maxillo-facial Surgery (OMFS) Dental Core Trainee (DCT1) based at the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford. I graduated from King's in 2018 and having completed by DFT year just outside of Guildford I wanted to expand my surgical skills and so decided to apply for a hospital training post, with a long-term aim of pursuing a career in oral surgery. 

There is no such thing as a 'typical' week for an OMFS DCT. There is so much variety in the job, especially when on call, which is probably why I enjoy it so much; but I'll descrie a recent week I had to give you an idea. 

Monday: I start the day off by attending ward round at 7:45am to keep updated with our inpatients, then I'm off on consultant clinic all day where we receive a range of referrals including anything from urgent 2 week cancer referrals, to requests for ortho extractions, as well as following up our own head and neck cancer, orthognathic or trauma patients and assessing their progress. 

Tuesday: I'm in Minor Ops this morning and then taking on call. Minor ops is where we carry out simple extractions or biopsies under LA. Being on call involves a mixture of everything including: ward jobs such as removing an extra-oral drain from a dental abscess patient or completing a discharge summary for a patient due to go home, taking referrals from GPs/GDPs/other A&Es and deciding if the patient needs to come in for an assessment, as well as treating patients from our own A&E with various problems such as dog bites, lacerations, dental abscesses and facial fractures. This is one of the few OMFS posts that still has weekends and nights on call and this has taught me the importance of being organised, how to prioritise patients and knowing when to ask for help from your seniors. After 9pm we have protected sleep time and only have to take emergency calls such as severe abscesses with potential airway risks and dental avulsions. I'm lucky and it's a rare night with no calls after 9pm. 

Wednesday: It's my turn to lead the ward round. This is where I inform the team of the expected patients coming in today for assessment and discuss our current inpatients' progress and plans for the day. Once the ward round is complete, I handover the bleep to my DCT colleague taking over and with the rest of the day off, it's home to catch up on sleep. 

Thursday: All day in theatre. This involves clerking and consenting the patients as well as the hands on side of operating. My rotation is mainly dento-alveolar so for the most part, it's impacted or cystic wisdom teeth, today I'm assisting in a particularly complicated case involving kissing molards. Look it up, they're cute in a weird dental way. 

Friday: After ward round, I'm back on clinic for the morning and then off in the afternoon, so it's not busy all the time, just most of it. 

I work with 6 other DCTs and it's true what they say, teamwork really does make the dream work; if you're willing to go the extra mile to help someone out, they will reciprocate when you most need it. If you're considering DCT, I would definitely recommend it, whilst challenging, it's proving an invaluable learning experience.  

Thanks Charlie for your entry! Really happy to hear that you got some sleep this week! Look out for still 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


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

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