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Paper Details

The Professional Experiences and Development of Dental Technology Students to Work Based Learning a Five-Year Study

The Professional Experiences and Development of Dental Technology Students to Work Based Learning a Five-Year Study

Michael G Reeson1*

Journal Title: Journal of Dental Health and Oral Research
Abstract


Background: Work based learning is a fundamental aspect of all healthcare professionals training, as it enables students to develop the knowledge and skills required in their professional practise. Research into work-based learning provides evidence to argue that both obstacles and benefits exist. However, there appears to be no studies that discuss the quality of a work-based placement or the type of work placement students undertake. Objectives: This study investigates the professional experiences and development of dental technology students to work-based learning placements as part of their three-year full-time course in dental technology. Methods: Students in year two of the course undertook hospital departmental and commercial dental laboratory work based placements over one academic year; each work placement consisted of eight-week blocks with five placement providers. Using a qualitative approach, data sources included work placement diaries and participant feedback. Results: Six major domains were identified that accurately characterized the participants’ beliefs, thoughts and practices. The results indicate the majority of students recognized the benefits of work-based placements in developing relevant skills, knowledge and experience whilst gaining first-hand experience of life in a real working environment. Conclusion: It is suggested future dental technology curricula should provide opportunities to develop comprehensive and effective work based learning for students. This needs to be systematically developed within the dental technology curriculum if it is to achieve its desired goal.