A Week In The Life of a DCT... OMFS at Leeds with Rebecca Gibbison

Another entry for my DCT competition... with Rebecca Gibbison

Rebecca Gibbison, DCT1 in OMFS at Leeds General Infirmary

I'm Rebecca... keen to learn more about specialist diagnosis and management of disorders and diseases of the face, mouth and neck, you'll find me working as a DCT in the OMFS Department at Leeds General Infirmary

My day starts at 8am, everyone gathers in the doctor's office, many a coffee in hand to fuel the morning ward round. Following handover of all the inpatients and recent admissions, the DCT night on call slips away and the rest of the team attentively review the patients to propose management plans for the day. 

With a huge variety of clinics, theatres and on-calls, the 8 week rota means no day is ever the same. 

Mondays see me assisting in acute theatre. Following an often busy weekend of patient admissions, the list can be extensive. Surgeries for drainage of large abscesses and swellings, extraction of teeth or foreign objects and repair of facial bone or mandible fractures. It's amazing to assist our consultant's jigsawing soft tissue lacerations and bony fragments back together, particularly in severe injuries such as road traffic accidents or the infrequent impalement of a face or neck on a metal railing or such object. 

Midweek Tuesday and Wednesday, it's over to the assessment clinics. I get to assess patients with a selection of needs. Fast-track referrals for possible head and neck cancers and those attending via GDP referral for complex medical histories and various oral manifestations: non-healing sockets, complex extractions, salivary gland swellings and an array of soft tissue lesions. 

It's fascinating to assist in an oncology patient's journey from initial assessment, biopsy to aid diagnosis, treatment planning and management. Thus, often comprises life-changing resection surgery. Emotionally demanding, we learn to deal with elation when treatment improves patient's lives for the better, but also see the challenges patients and their families face when diagnosis is unkind. 

As the week draws a close, Thursday and Friday are spent over in the Dental hospital. I perform minor oral surgeries under LA, or assist on the one day unit for GA surgeries: Managing anxious patients; orthodontic cases for impacted or unerupted teeth and assist face-changing surgeries such as bimaxillary osteotomies. 

Observing intricate surgery of cleft lip repair on infants is somewhat remarkable... quite a contrast from the winter influx of frail elderly patients seeking repair in A&E. 

Most weekends are a chance to recuperate after an eventful week - escaping the urge to jump at the sound of a bleep. But, should my rota fall a weekend on call, A&E keeps me busy and of course, allows me to manage those avulsed teeth. 

Having worked 3 years in general practice before embarking on DCT, it took me a couple of months to adapt to the role. Similarly to practice, performing in a supportive team is essential. I am developing knowledge and skills at every shift: each full of challenges and achievements. My confidence continues to grow through my experiences, which I know I will be able to take on to future roles. 

Thank you for your entry Rebecca. Always interesting to hear what goes on a the LGI... the hospital I was born in! Look out for still more entries to come.

Unfortunately the competition is now CLOSED!

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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