Building the Team: Cross-Professional Education at Griffith University
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Objectives: This study was designed to gauge the effectiveness of cross-professional education in the School whereby students from different programs are studying and learning side-by-side with students in other dental programs as well as with students in other programs such as health science, nursing and exercise science. Lecturers from different professional groups are also involved in common learning opportunities with the dentally integrated students. Methods: A self-administered survey with closed and open-ended questions was administered to first year students in the School of Dentistry and Oral Health at Griffith University at the end of Semester 2. These students were enrolled in one of four programs, namely, a Bachelor of Oral Health in Dental Science, Oral Health Therapy, Dental Technology or Dental Technology (Post-Registration). Fifty-eight surveys were completed and returned giving a response rate of 68%. Ethical clearance was approved by the Griffith University Human Research Ethics Committee. This study was self-funded. Quantitative data were entered and analysed using EXCEL and qualitative data were analysed using a four-step process of organising, shaping, summarising and explaining. Results: Results include students' views studying and learning with students in other dental programs as well as with students in other health programs; the extent of common learning opportunities in the different dental programs; the advantages and disadvantages of cross-professional education; and the advantages of having lecturers with different dental backgrounds. Quotes from the open-ended questions will highlight the range or extremes of views on dental integration in the School. Conclusion: Students enrolled at a new Dental School in Australia (the first new Dental School in 57 years) need to be encouraged to experience the advantages of cross-professional education if a team approach to dentistry is going to move from rhetoric to reality.
45th Annual Meeting of the Australian /New Zealand Division of the International Association for Dental Research