A Week In The Life of a DCT... Special Care at Northamptonshire with Catherine Grant

Here's another entry for my DCT competition... with Catherine Grant

Catherine Grant, DCT2 in Special Care Dentistry at Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

I am currently doing DCT2 in Special Care in Northamptonshire. I'm working in the community dental service across 3 clinics and 2 hospitals, providing treatment in surgery, on domiciliary visits and in theatre. I was always interested in Special care so chose to apply for DCT to help improve my confidence and skills to pursue a career in Special Care. For DCT1 I did a 6 months Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery rotation and 6 months Special Care/Oral Surgery. My DCT2 post is 6 months in Special Care which I am coming to the end of, and 6 months Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.



Monday is a normal treatment day for me. I have my own list running in clinic where I see a variety of children and adults with additional needs. Often these patients need more time for appointments which we are lucky to have, but we also use different techniques such as the wand for local anaesthesia or inhalation sedation. I also go out on domiciliary visits providing dental care for patients who can't leave their homes, often due to frailty or immobility, but I have one patient who can't go out due to severe allergies. 

Tuesday is a day to catch up on admin and work on projects. I'm currently working on a quality improvement project following up patients experience after extractions under general anaesthetic. 

Wednesday in the morning I am in theatre for our 'chair dental' list, where children have a short general anaesthetic for extractions or small fillings. We usually have 9 patients on our list so it is quite busy and requires a quick turnaround. In the afternoon I'm back at the clinic to do assessments for new patients referred into the service. 

Thursday I alternate each week so I'm either working with an Oral Surgeon, improving my extraction and oral surgery skills or with a Specialist in Special Care seeing patients. This gives me a good chance to ask any questions about patients I'm treating and helps my treatment planning skills. Thursdays mornings we often see patients for IV sedation, in special care this is a useful skill which can prevent patients having to have general anaesthetic for treatment. In November, I attended a sedation course and I am now working on the cases towards my portfolio. 

Friday in the morning I'm back in theatre again for our special needs general anaesthetic list, we have 2 patients booked in for comprehensive care. The patients are always seen for an assessment beforehand, to plan how to actually get them to sleep. The whole team has to be creative! We discuss with the patient and their family/carers about IV vs. gas induction and the need for any sedation. Once the patient is under anaesthetic, we complete an exam, including radiographs and carry out any treatment required. This can range from a scale to full mouth restorative work and we won't really know until we've started! In the afternoon I'm back in clinic for assessments or treatment and often a patient with toothache needing to be seen before the weekend!



I would recommend a DCT post to anyone especially as it provides a different environement to practice and you get to work as part of amazing teams with so many skilled professionals to learn from.

I have love my time with the special care service in Northampton and I'm lucky enough to have been offered a job so I will be staying on with the service from September, putting all the new skills I've learned into practice.



Thank you for your entry Catherine. Congratulations for being offered a job after your DCT post finishes! This can be an option after DCT as you say Catherine, because of the networks you've built and the skills you've learned. Look out for still more entries to come. 

The Competition is now closed!

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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