A Week In The Life of a DCT... OMFS at Pinderfields with Hannah Barrow

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

Hannah Barrow, DCT1 in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield

My name is Hannah and I am a DCT1 in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery (OMFS) at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield. I graduated from Manchester in 2018 and spent my foundation year in Leeds in general practice. I chose to do DCT in OMFS as I wanted to improve my surgical skills and also boost my confidence in managing more medically complex patients. 

We work on a 7-week rota so there is no typical week for us. The variety is one of the many reasons I enjoy the job so much, there is never a 'routine' week. Here is my most recent week to give you an idea. 


Monday: The week starts on call which means I am the person on call for the department from 8am-8pm. I take the handover from my colleague who has been on call overnight and then we attend ward round we review our inpatients with our consultants and other senior staff. Our department has a bleep and a phone so you have to ensure you always have both with you and not accidently put it on silent! We have someone on call for our department a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We take referrals from within the hospital and outside as well, so it can be variety of callers e.g. A&E doctors, GPs or GDPs. The day ends up being a busy one, as Mondays often are. 

Tuesday: Another day on call today and I am asked to review a patient by one of the doctors on the haematology ward. This call was related to a patient who had acute myeloid leukaemia and had developed a facial swelling. I had to liaise with the medical team to raise the patient's platelet count prior to taking the tooth out as they were neutropenic and had a platelet count of 22 (normal is between 135-400)

Wednesday: Today is spent on minor oral surgery, performing and assisting with local anaesthetic procedures, such as biopsies and difficult extractions. We work with a speciality doctor and it's always a really good opportunity to improve and perfect our biopsy, suturing and extraction techniques. 

Thursday: Head and Neck Oncology clinic today. The morning is spent following up patients who have had previous diagnoses and treatment and are now under review. These patients often have had major surgery commonly involving flap reconstruction. The afternoon is new patients who have been referred on the fast-track pathway due to suspected cancer. It is always a busy and intense day. It can be really difficult to see people receive a diagnosis. 

Friday: I have study in the morning enabling me to work on audits I have to complete and then I am off in the afternoon for a rest before on call next week!


The job has had some extremely challenging moments (like my first night on call!), but I can honestly say I have learnt more than I ever thought I would and have enjoyed it immensely. I would thoroughly recommend a DCT post in OMFS to anyone considering it.


Thanks Hannah for your entry! Glad to hear that you'd recommend your OMFS post! Look out for more entries!



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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