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Dental students’ experience of conscious sedation: A qualitative review of student reflections

Crowe, Hannah L. and Woolley, Stephen M. 2022. Dental students’ experience of conscious sedation: A qualitative review of student reflections. European Journal of Dental Education 26 (1) , pp. 197-205. 10.1111/eje.12688

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Introduction The UK General Dental Council (GDC) requires dental graduates to competently identify, manage and refer patients with dental pain and anxiety. This study aimed to explore sedation training experience quantitatively and qualitatively through individual reflective logs. Materials & Methods A single-centred mixed-methods evaluation of teaching, within a UK university conscious sedation department. Fourth-year dental students undertook lectures and supervised clinical sessions following the undergraduate curriculum. Patient attendance patterns, individual experience and group experience were analysed descriptively. Reflective log sheets were analysed by Thematic Framework Analysis. Results Seventy-two students participated. Of 153 booked patients, 79 (51.6%) attended of which 74 (48.4%) were treated by undergraduates. The mean performed inhalation sedation and intravenous sedation cases per student were 1 and 0.8, respectively. Three students (4%) assisted only. Group experience varied. Three themes arose from reflections: consolidation of theory and learning; confidence through experience; and responding to challenges. Discussion Whilst experience quotas were not met, GDC requirements for increasing students’ knowledge and confidence within CS were met. Practical experience enhanced learning. “Hands-on” experience was most valuable for self-reported confidence but learning by proxy also aided development. Students recognised challenges, but not the implications for themselves or their career. Strategies to reduce barriers to experience require research. Conclusion Whilst variable, all students were provided learning opportunities. Physical experience gave the greatest confidence. Opportunities afforded by the undergraduate curriculum allowed students to learn and develop through consolidation of theory, response to challenges and ultimately the gaining of confidence.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
Publisher: John Wiley and Sons
ISSN: 1396-5883
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 October 2021
Date of Acceptance: 2 April 2021
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 06:58

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