A Week in the Life of a DCT: Paediatric OMFS & OMFS at Alder Hey & Aintree with Anika Patel

So here is another entry for this year's DCT competition by Anika Patel...

Hi, my name is Anika and I graduated from Liverpool Dental School in 2018. I am currently a Dental Core Trainee 2 on a 6-month split post at Alder Hey Hospital (AHH) and Aintree University Hospital (AUH). It is an incredible post with exposure to paediatric dentistry, cleft lip and palate and paediatric craniofacial surgery at AHH to trauma and oncology surgery at AUH, one of the biggest OMFS units in the country. Every week for us is slightly different which makes this job so interesting. I’ll give you an insight into my most recent week as an OMFS DCT2.


The rota at AHH is split into day on-call, OMFS and paediatric dentistry. This month I am on the OMFS block which means my Monday is spent on the oral surgery theatre list. With COVID it means full PPE for the whole day but being on this list is an opportunity to improve oral surgery skills. We do everything from canine exposures and gold chain applications to labial frenectomies on babies.


I spend the whole day in theatre in cleft surgery. Depending on the type of cleft surgery I can scrub and assist. With alveolar bone graft surgeries, you can close the hip site under supervision from an OMFS registrar. This is a great opportunity to improve your suturing skills which always comes in handy while doing an OMFS post. 


Halfway through the week and we start the day off with a ward round. Our ward rounds at AHH are mainly cleft patients. Occasionally, we have patients admitted due to facial swellings or facial trauma that require emergency treatment in theatre. 


Unfortunately, today's cleft list is cancelled due to COVID. So, I help the on call/paediatric dental DCTs. DCTs have their own paediatric dental clinic which is very varied, from dental assessment and treatment for children with complex medical histories to managing dental trauma. Being on-call entails a number of jobs, most commonly being assessing children in A&E with facial swellings or trauma. Working at a children’s hospital means that sometimes we see the weird and wonderful. Today I’m called to A&E to see child with a ‘foreign object’ stuck on his tooth! Yes…. that’s a lego head! 


I spend the morning seeing patients on the OMFS virtual clinic and have the afternoon off. Unfortunately, it’s not an early start to the weekend but respite because I am on-call on the weekend. 


On this post we do a 48-hour non-resident on-call for AHH and from 8-5 we help the on-call DCT at Aintree. At Aintree we deal with adult patients only, from facial fractures, dento-facial swellings, lacerations and oncology ward patients. We go into theatre to assist our registrars for OMFS emergency cases. It’s an opportunity to improve surgical skills everything from suturing, extractions with extra oral incision and drainage to drilling in plates to fixate a broken mandible.

Working as an OMFS DCT in a large unit can be challenging. It can be extremely busy, with a lot going on. However, you are part of a big team and everyone works together to get the tasks done. It’s a rewarding post and has provided me with a number of opportunities to learn and develop skills. I would recommend this post to anyone especially those interested in OMFS.

To ENTER YOUR SUBMISSION: email your submission via the contact page on the blog - DEADLINE February 28th 2021

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

You Might Also Like


Top Categories