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An evaluation of a vocational training scheme for dental therapists (TVT)

Bullock, Alison Deborah, Falcon, H. C., Mehra, S. and Stearns, K. 2010. An evaluation of a vocational training scheme for dental therapists (TVT). British Dental Journal 209 (6) , pp. 295-300. 10.1038/sj.bdj.2010.818

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Commissioned by NHS Education South Central (NESC) Postgraduate Dental Deanery, this work provided an external, independent formative evaluation of the Dental Therapists Vocational Training (TVT) scheme in its first year of operation. Undertaken between March-September 2009, the evaluation engaged with all those involved in the TVT scheme: the newly qualified dental therapists (n = 9; group discussion and questionnaire; portfolio extracts) and interviews with their trainers (n = 9), Associate Postgraduate Dental Dean and TVT Scheme Adviser. Most of those on the scheme did not feel well prepared for work at the point of initial qualification and benefitted from enhancement of confidence and skills. Although the number of treatments undertaken by each of the trainees varied considerably, there was commonality in terms of treatment types. Benefits for trainers included the opportunity to work with a dental therapist and develop a better understanding of their role. They praised the trainees' skills with nervous patients and children and their preventative work. A therapist on the team released the dentist for more complex treatments. Challenges related to the recruitment of trainees and trainers, the relative lack of knowledge about the work of dental therapists, concerns about maintaining the range of therapy skills and issues about UDA (unit of dental activity) distribution. There was widespread support for a mandatory TVT scheme. This scheme could be improved by providing further guidance on the amount and type of clinical experience required.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff Unit for Research and Evaluation in Medical and Dental Education (CUREMeDE)
Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: R Medicine > RK Dentistry
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
ISSN: 0007-0610
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2017 15:38

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