Simulation and student transition in restorative dentistry

Fugill, Martin (2015). Simulation and student transition in restorative dentistry. University of Birmingham. Ed.D.

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Simulation in the shape of the “phantom head” is an essential part of every dental training programme. It is used to provide the student with practice before he/she is allowed to carry out restorative dental procedures on patients. In theory, this practice promotes patient safety. However, the learning process lacks clarity, and we do not understand fully how well learned skills transfer to clinical activity. This study asks whether in fact the pre-clinical course is a reliable guarantor of patient safety.

It does so by examining four facets of the simulation process: purpose, learning, fidelity and transition, using a mixture of research methods, including comparison of pre-clinical and clinical assessment grades, focus groups with students, one-to-one interviews with their teachers and a questionnaire.

The results of these investigations indicate a complex inter-relationship between purpose, learning, fidelity and transition. They also suggest that success in simulated restorative dentistry is a poor predictor of clinical ability, a limitation that needs careful consideration in the light of patient safety.

The study recommends changes to increase the complexity and authenticity of the pre-clinical course, and suggests that the student transition needs detailed management, perhaps through a blend of pre-clinical and clinical activity.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ed.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ed.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
R Medicine > RK Dentistry


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