A Week In the Life of A DCT... Paeds, Ortho & Oral Surgery at Manchester with Jess Cooper

Another entry for my DCT competition... with Jess Cooper

Jess Cooper, DCT1 in Paeds, Ortho & Oral Surgery at Manchester Dental Hospital

Jess Cooper is a DCT1 at the University Dental Hospital of Manchester in Paediatrics, Orthodontics and Oral Surgery.

My working week is incredibly varied. I am lucky to work within a close-knit team of 10 DCTs and although we mostly work between specialties, there is always someone on hand for support or an interesting case to discuss. 

Monday mornings start with collecting the medical emergency bleep. As a DCT, you are a member of the hospital crash team, therefore every Monday I pray there are no medical emergencies! Mornings are spent assessing and treatment planning new patients within the Paediatric department. I experience everything from severe early childhood caries to MIH, fluorosis and amelogenesis imperfecta. I've also seen really unusual conditions such as solitary median maxillary central incisor syndrome! Afternoons alternate between completing my own MOS list or biopsies on the Oral Medicine Department. I found this incredibly daunting back in September, however it's amazing to see how far I've come in 4 months of training. 

Tuesday is my full day on the paediatric department. In the morning I complete an inhalation sedation list. These patients require anything from extractions to fillings and the odd RCT or MTA plug. This clinic can be challenging however completing treatment on these extremely anxious patients is incredibly rewarding. Afternoons are spent undertaking a review clinic. In contrast to my new patient clinic I see the long-term, results of trauma management and complex conditions. 

On Wednesday mornings I work on the Emergency Dental Clinic treating walk-in patients. This is always an intense morning and emphasises the disparity between provision adn demand for NHS dental services. Afternoons include assessing and treating patients on a specialist TMD clinic. This has vastly increased my knowledge of TMD, including the provision of various splints. I still have a lot to learn, however, my confidence is growing week on week. 

I complete another paediatric inhalation sedation list on Thursday mornings. I then run to the Children's hospital whilst eating my lunch to clerk in patients for my afternoon XGA list. I love spending time in theatre, however, it can be heart-breaking completing full dental clearances and extracting teeth on patients as young as 2. 

On Friday mornings I work alongside an Orthodontic Consultant assessing new patients. This clinic has given me a greater understanding of patients requiring treatment within the hospital and those better suited to practice. Afternoons are spent on an oral surgery IV sedation clinic, enabling me to improve on my cannulation skills whilst also gaining invaluable MOS tips.

Life as a DCT couldn't more more different from that in practice. I'm now treating the cases I would have referred only 4 months ago. I'm responsible for many of my own lists however I'm comfortable knowing there is always a consultant on hand! This job has completely exceeded  my expectations and I couldn't enjoy it more. I know the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills in so many disciplines will provide a fantastic start to a specialist career or future in practice alike. 

Thanks Jess for your entry, it's lovely to hear how much you have learnt already! 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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