Top tips to avoid feeling overwhelmed when going into secondary care

Secondary careSimran Bains lists some of her top tips to consider if you’re looking to go into tertiary or secondary care.

The transition from practice to tertiary or secondary care may seem like a daunting venture. However, it is full of exciting opportunities, various experiences and numerous challenges. If you’re unsure about a career pathway, a year in hospital will offer you a great insight into the different specialties within dentistry.

The maxillofacial team is made up of a range of clinicians from a variety of specialties. Talking to an array of people can prove to be quite inspirational and help clarify your future.

Currently there are less dental core training (DCT) posts than dental foundation one (DF1) posts, making the process very competitive. It is important to thoroughly research each hospital senior house officer (SHO) post prior to ranking them as they all differ in their own way.

There are two types of hospital – a teaching hospital and a district general hospital. Some hospitals are more trauma based, whilst others are more head and neck cancer based. Certain hospitals have overnight on call, whereas others have varying shift on call patterns.

Managing referrals from medical practitioners

When you commence your dental core training it is very easy to accept all referrals to secondary care from senior colleagues, purely because you don’t want to say no. However, not all referrals may be appropriate, so it is imperative you gain as much information from the referrer before accepting the referral. Below are a few questions to aid you in gaining a detailed history:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Patient number
  • Full medical history
  • Can the patient breathe and swallow comfortably?
  • Are there any swellings?
  • Size of swelling? Could this be compromising their breathing?
  • Is...

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