TITLE

Educational needs and employment status of Scottish dental technicians

AUTHOR(S)
Ross, M. K.; Ibbetson, R. J.
PUB. DATE
July 2005
SOURCE
British Dental Journal;7/23/2005, Vol. 199 Issue 2, p97
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Objective To investigate the educational needs and employment status of dental technicians in Scotland.Subjects Two hundred and fifty dental technicians with postal addresses in Scotland.Design Structured questionnaire.Results An 83% response rate was achieved following three mailings. The majority of respondents were employed in commercial dental laboratories largely within the 'central belt' of Scotland, with 96% stating they were in full-time employment. Only 33% of these essential health-care workers were voluntarily registered with the Dental Technicians' Association, suggesting that a significant number had not felt it necessary or beneficial to do so. A lack of educational structure was identified, as was poor remuneration and an absence of opportunity for career progression. Although the prospect of continuing professional development was desirable, many respondents reported that they would be penalised financially for undertaking this and, in addition, may not be given the opportunity to pursue education because of lack of co-operation from their employer. Only 47% had attended an educational event within the preceding year, and of those who had not done this, a period of two-32 years had elapsed since any CPD involvement. Of the respondents, only 34% stated that any financial assistance had been available for educational purposes, with access to education being highlighted as problematic by 68%. A total of 64% of subjects felt they were out-of-date with professional education.Conclusions This study highlights a number of real and potential problems in the field of education in dental technology. It is apparent that change within the structure of education and professional status, although largely welcomed, may be difficult to implement. The profession, as a whole, must realise that these changes in education and employment are not optional, and should be embraced as a positive step which will hopefully raise the profile and status of dental technicians throughout the UK.
ACCESSION #
17715702

 

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