Dentists are required to ensure that they are capable of providing appropriate care for their patients, whilst also effectively managing and leading the wider clinical team.
The patient‐centred care that is provided should align to a contemporaneous evidence base wherever possible, and the quality of care and the management systems that underpin it should be regularly audited and improved. Dental training is very hands on and in many cases involves irreversible procedures.
Once access to the clinical environment has been granted, it is expected that the vast majority of student clinical experience will involve preventive and operative care provided to actual patients.
The Areas of Competence in this Domain are described below. They include the following:
- Evidence‐based Practise
- Management and Leadership
- Teamworking and Communication
- Audit and Risk Management
- Professional Education and Training
Each of these elements forms part of a wider strategy to continuously improve the quality of clinical care and services that are provided to patients. This wider strategy is often referred to as “Clinical Governance” and should create an environment within which clinical excellence can flourish.
Whilst it is important for Dentists to be familiar with the scientific principles that underpin their practise, it is equally important to ensure that they are working to a robust and contemporaneous evidence base. This requires a motivated and interested professional who is willing to seek out new information, rationalise its source and credibility, and apply it suitably to the clinical environment.
The GED identifies 5 learning outcomes within this competence that a graduating european dentist must be able tio demonstrate.
Demonstrate successful engagement with the scientific basis of dentistry, including the relevant biomedical sciences, the mechanisms of knowledge acquisition, scientific method and evaluation of evidence
Effective clinical leadership is increasingly being shown to result in higher‐quality care. Leadership involves setting a vision for the team, and inspiring and setting organisational values and strategic goals. Effective management involves the direction of resources to effectively achieve those goals (Swanwick & McKimm 2010). As the leader of a wider‐healthcare team, the Dentist is responsible for implementing a systematic approach to the delivery of safe, high‐quality patient‐centred, clinical services. This necessarily involves managing people and resources with openness and integrity.
On a very basic level, this means ensuring that leaders/managers and the team are adhering to all local policies and procedures. However, upon qualification, it is expected that Dentists will also be able to deal with minor performance issues, effectively audit local performance and mediate necessary changes.
Five learning outcomes have been identified within this competence that a Graduating European Dentsits must demonstrate.
Effectively integrate other members of the dental team with regard to risk management, for example:
- working posture
- visual perception
- the use of equipment
- dealing with stress and burn‐out
- cross‐infection control
- working with hazardous chemicals and ionising radiation
As an autonomous healthcare professional, a graduating Dentist is responsible for communicating effectively with their patients, the local healthcare team and allied professionals who are involved with patient‐centred care. Being able to communicate and integrate effectively within a team requires a degree of emotional competence (Flowers et al. 2014). It is expected that new graduates will be ready and able to manage their own patients within a primary care environment. This involves the integration of both verbal and written methods of communication, judgements relating to timekeeping and awareness of their own personal and professional boundaries. Some of the most commonly reported problems with new graduates relate to their inability to know when to seek help, and poor time management (Gilmour et al. 2014)—it is therefore important, on a longitudinal basis, to expose undergraduates to these important elements throughout the delivery of carefully planned and realistic clinical duties. The need to communicate effectively may also extend to wider regulatory and professional organisations, healthcare system providers and insurance companies.
20 learning outcomes have been identified in the the competence.
Obtain informed consent by effectively explaining and discussing aspects of treatment planning to patients including risks, benefits and likely longevity of treatment interventions
Evaluate the results of treatment and establish an effective monitoring and maintenance programme for patients, in cooperation with the wider dental team where appropriate
Counsel patient's regarding the nature and severity of their diseases and disorders, providing the patient with realistic options, expectations of how these are managed, and likely prognoses
Risks to patient care can be minimised through effective risk management. This necessarily includes Dentists being able to identify when things are going wrong, why they have happened, and what to do in order to prevent adverse events from happening again. Clinical audit is a process of measuring and monitoring the quality of care that is provided against a set standard, or previous performance—and this is an essential first step in identifying systematic risks to safe and effective patient‐centred care.
A graduating Dentist must be able to demonstrate seven learning outcomes.
Effectively communicate and manage the hazards within the clinical environment including cross‐infection control, use of hazardous materials and working with ionising radiation
It is essential that graduating dentists are familiar with the process of continuing professional development (CPD), appraisal and professional development planning. Graduation is considered to be a “springboard” leading to a period of lifelong learning, underpinned by this professional and academic development, achieved through the acquisition of quality CPD (DentCPD 2013). Graduates should therefore be in the habit of continually assessing and updating their knowledge and skills to keep up to date with the latest developments and evidence‐based practise. It is also important that Dentists are motivated and interested to learn and develop new skills for themselves and to facilitate this process for the wider dental team. Four learning outcomes have been identified.
Demonstrate a “record of clinical achievement,” ideally through the use of a contemporaneous portfolio of clinical activity and reflection; something to use with pride and to be of value as a learning tool that impacts positively on their future and continuing clinical and professional practise.