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News / March 2, 2010

Dublin Dental Hospital pilots dental radiography course

by Guy Hiscott

The Dublin Dental Hospital, in association with the Diagnostic Imaging Department UCD, School of Medical Science, has implemented a Dental Council approved online postgraduate dental radiography programme for practising dental nurses and dental hygienists.

This programme has been introduced as a response to demand from the dental public and is approved by the Dental Council (Ireland). Successful candidates of the programme will be awarded a Certificate in Dental Radiography from the Dublin Dental Hospital. 

The programme is currently being piloted, and the first cohort of students will complete the programme in May 2010. 
The Certificate in Dental Radiography will be open for applications from qualified dental nurses and dental hygienists for the programme commencing August 2010, and will be offered bi-annually in January and August of each year. 

This delivery method is blended, incorporating online learning opportunities along with face-to-face sessions. Blending course delivery methods utilise the strengths of ‘technological innovation without having to sacrifice the strong points of the more traditional and consolidated modalities of a classroom setting’ (Ally, 2009).

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Both intra-oral (periapical, occlusal and bitewing) and extra-oral (panoramic and cephalometric) radiograph techniques are included in the programme.

To be eligible to take part in the programme, students must be;
• Employed in an environment where they can gain exposure to both intra-oral and extra-oral X-ray units, or be able to arrange appropriate clinical exposure
• Have the support of the practitioner to guide and mentor them during the completion of an extensive Portfolio of Experience
• Be registered with the Dental Council (Ireland). 

The inclusion of the dental practitioner in the training provides students with the opportunity to be enrolled in the programme while continuing with their employment. 
There is a mandatory face-to-face technique training session within the programme, and an invitation has been extended to the employing practitioners, as the course co-ordinators recognise the importance of team training within the dental surgery. 

During the design of the programme, care was taken to incorporate feedback from various stakeholders to ensure the programme met the demand of all stakeholders. Quality assurance methods have been put in place to ensure a quality educational experience for all involved.

Continued professional development for all members of the dental team, and undertaken as a team, is imperative to ensure professionals are kept up to date with advancements in dentistry. The provision of a high quality service is the responsibility of all team members, and continuing professional development plays an integral part. Using technology to enhance programme delivery opens a variety of opportunity to learners and is used to enhance the learner’s educational experience as well as overcoming geographical barriers. 

For more information or application details, please visit , email or ring the nursing administrator on 01 612 7315.

Ally M (2009) Mobile learning transforming the delivery of education and training. AU Press, Athabasca.