Dental foundation training assessment day is around the corner so I thought it’d be a good idea to try and collate some top tips from DFT trainers, DCTs and students who have been through it themselves!
This assessment day will decide where you will be working for your first year in practice after university (or for some people, the next 2 years).
Here are 10 top tips to remember on the day…
- Stay calm, this is easier said than done! Make sure you arrive on time, to give yourself enough time to get focused. Everybody is just as nervous as you are on the day.
- Dress smart! Appearance and first impressions really do make a difference. It’s important to look professional.
- Make sure you know how the procedure works, i.e the format of each of your assessments, how much time you are given for each stage and how many marks you can attain.
- Everything you’ll be asked will be based on knowledge you already have, especially in the COMS station – actors are good at picking up whether you are being yourself. Treat them as though they were one of your own patients in the Dental Hospital – at the end of the day the examiners want to see that you’re competent enough to look after patients and keep them safe.
- Familiarise yourself with the mark scheme, this will help you plan a structure in your head on how to answer questions more effectively.
- Speak clearly and concisely – this can be hard to do when you’re nervous but just focus on what you’ve practiced. Have a strategic approach in asking/answering all questions.
- Make sure you’re aware of all the rules and regulations, know your dental organisations and bodies especially.
- Answer all the SJT questions even though you may be rushing towards the end – this is better than leaving a question blank as you get marks throughout.
- Put yourself in the situation or scenario you are given. Therefore act as though you would do yourself – if you’d ask for help first, then say that. Saying you’d ask for help is not a wrong answer.
- Don’t be afraid to involve the wider dental team. If the scenario you are given in the interview requires you to get someone else in the dental team involved as a solution to the problem, then don’t be afraid to do so. For example, if staff members are cutting corners, putting patients at risk, inform the principle dentist as he or she would be more qualified at dealing with the issue; more training may be necessary for the dental team, which only they can arrange.