A Week in the Life of a DCT: Paediatrics at Sheffield with Simran Kaur Bilkhoo

So here is a guest post from Simran Kaur Bilkhoo, a DCT2 Paediatrics at Sheffield’s Charles Clifford Dental Hospital. What does a typical week for her look like...?



Monday

Monday morning often begins with new patient clinic. We see a lot of referrals from GDPs with children suffering from caries, MIH, dental anomalies and trauma. The majority of these children are dentally phobic, so it is important that this first visit to the dental hospital positive and they leave with a treatment plan tailored to their age and anxiety level. I have found from these clinics that each child is different and assessing the parent’s level of anxiety can often predict the child’s, so a chat about something other than teeth is a great way to start. As a department, we also see dental casualties from the region that we try to see as soon as possible, so it can get very busy!


Tuesday

One day a week I go to a community dental hub in North Sheffield to provide paediatric services. 

We do this as sometimes families with children in deprived areas and households find it very challenging to travel to the dental hospital where they often need to take multiple variations of public transport. The time this takes also means they miss more time at school travelling and can be a common reason for ‘was not brought’ situations. By providing the same consultant-led care closer to them, we overcome this issue. I enjoy it here, with a mixture of new patients and treatment sessions using inhalation sedation. I am working towards being accredited in sedation and so I am still practising on my imaginary stories! When treatment is successful, it is hugely rewarding to have prevented a child needing a general anaesthetic to manage their dental phobia.


Wednesday

An early start with an exodontia list at Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital which begins at 8am by clerking children into the ward. There are up to 8 children on the list for the morning and we take out a mix of poor prognosis deciduous teeth and 1st permanent molars. I make sure I’ve had a good breakfast and caffeine as taking out 6’s with 100% bone levels can be hard work!

In the afternoon, I usually have protected study time to do admin from the week, sign letters and work on audit topics.

Thursday

Most weeks I do a full day of treatment, in the morning this usually consists of PFMCs, fissure sealants and trauma reviews. 

I describe the shiny metal hats as iron-man armour or princess crowns and tailor what I say to each child and get them excited for their cool new teeth that they can show their friends! In the afternoon, I have another session of inhalation sedation where I can practise helping children relax and perform more challenging treatment such as fillings and extractions. If I’m doing an AGP, I must wear a hood and tell the child we’re floating into space, so I need a spacesuit to fix their teeth (they usually find it funny).

Friday

The last day of the week is known as ‘Disney Fridays’ and begins with a new patient clinic with a different consultant alongside some favourite childhood music (I know most of the lyrics). It can be useful to see how consultants vary in their approaches to cases and can give you more experience treatment planning. Unfortunately, we do see children who suffer from dental neglect and safeguarding measures are put into place to ensure their health is optimised. It’s upsetting to see but for every child we help, we tackle this issue from growing.

I then hurry back over to the Children’s Hospital in the afternoon for a comprehensive care list which is where we perform full treatment plans for children who cannot manage when conscious. This often includes children who have complex medical needs such as autism and congenital syndromes. This treatment can be challenging and begins with a full examination, radiographs and any treatment necessary including fillings under rubber dam with an intubation tube, which can be a tight squeeze in a small mouth!

Saturday & Sunday

Time to relax with my husband, bake and catch up with friends!


Thanks Simran for a really good description of what your week is like! A very varied and clearly fulfilling week 

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





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