Being the perpetual student means I’ve hung around in South Yorkshire since graduation; happily, the University still haven’t managed to get rid of me! In 2017 I started supervising BDS and H&T students at an outreach clinic in a deprived/high needs are of Sheffield; they attend an 8-week rotation as part of their final year at the University. I was keenly aware that the other outreach tutors had been supervising for a long time, and as such had amassed a wealth of experience and knowledge. I was supposed to match their level of ability in teaching, yet I didn’t have nearly as much familiarity.
Certain hypothetical situations would fill me with dread: what if there was a tooth that a student had fractured, that I was supposed to retrieve, and couldn’t? What if I was asked a complex academic question in front of a patient, and didn’t know the answer? What if I was asked to deliver a tutorial on new guidelines, and was not familiar with them?
Tubules has been central in helping to overcome this fear. Every Monday evening (I tutor on a Tuesday), I make a point of watching a Tubules video. It could be on something simple or something complex, but I felt that the more equipped I was, the better.
My preparedness paid off on one Tuesday afternoon when a distraught Mum brought in her youngest son, who had spectacularly met with a pavement during a skateboard accident. Two teeth were laterally luxated, one was avulsed, and all three had varying degrees of enamel-dentine fractures. As luck would have it, I’d watched Serpil Djemal’s excellent lecture on dental trauma only the night before, and had taken notes on it to develop a handout for the students, which I had delivered to them just hours prior. Sixty minutes later and the student and I had anaesthetised, radiographed, rebuilt and splinted the patient back together. We had a much happier patient and a very relieved parent. I dread to think how we would have coped if it hadn’t been for the wealth of knowledge that I’ve gathered via Tubules.
Going forward, I encourage the undergraduates to engage with their education and develop themselves as much as they can, both prior to and post graduation. Tubules is an outstanding way of facilitating this and I am very proud to be a part of it.