Within the past three weeks every Year 4 BDS student has visited a care home in the city to provide oral health guidance to carers. This new initiative fits within the Social Accountability helical theme of the BDS21 curriculum. Students were trained prior to, and accompanied during, the visits by volunteers from Bridge2Aid, a dental charity now partnered with Bristol Dental School. Students provided oral and dental health guidance to a total of >70 carers in 10 care homes and 2 reablement centres looking after a total of approximately 450 residents. By all accounts care home staff have been highly appreciative of the guidance provided by students. Amongst feedback were the following comments:
• “Could follow the talk easily. Very informative and knowledgeable students.”
• “Showed me the correct way to hold the brush to help take more bacteria away and making the brushing experience more comfortable.”
• “The training was really helpful. I learnt new things on the diet, denture care and documenting.”
• “I learnt what signs to look for in the mouth and on the gums.”
• “Informal, friendly atmosphere. Good to see students. I hope we learnt from each other.”
• “I thought the dental students did an amazing job and should be very proud of themselves.”
Thanks very much to care home staff at Brunelcare, Ablecare, and Care Futures care homes and reablement centres and to Bridge2Aid volunteers for engaging so enthusiastically with this new initiative. Alongside the move to the new Dental School building we are reinvigorating our community engagement activities and will be aiming to provide similar opportunities to all students in the coming years. The photographs below show different aspects of our student visits to care homes.