• How the vision of a clinician and an educator brought the MA Dental Law and Ethics course to life.

      Wassif, Hoda; D'Cruz, L.; University of Bedfordshire; Dental Protection (Springer Nature, 2017-09-22)
      This paper reflects on an educational development that is Dental Law and Ethics course as the course approaches its 5th anniversary. The authors outline their personal journey into developing and delivering this course as well share best practice in relation to teaching and learning dental postgraduate students who may approach the subject in different ways. It also highlights the vision behind this provision and how it is received by dental practitioners. The paper shares the learners’ perception of topics such as ethics in comparison to law, and it highlights the perspective of both authors in teaching and following the students’ journey in this course.
    • Is dentistry the orphaned field of medicine? Ethical consideration for evidence-based dentistry

      Sellars, S; Wassif, Hoda; University of Bedfordshire; Red Pepper Clinic (Springer Nature, 2019-02-08)
      It was a watershed moment when Archie Cochrane published his work on Effectiveness and efficiency: random reflections on health services which was considered the start of evidence-based healthcare as we now know it. From there onward, evidence-based dentistry (EBD) has developed and evolved and there has been little attention to the interlink between EBD and ethics. The aim of this paper is to explore some of the ethical basis of evidence-based approach to healthcare utilising Beauchamp and Childress' four principles. EBD will be examined in relation to a variety of ethical theories. The case will be made that dentistry can, at times, be considered the orphaned field of medicine and an examination will be presented about how this may affect the uptake of EBD in practice. While exploring the strengths and weaknesses of EBD from an ethical viewpoint, we will highlight some of the challenges facing many dental practitioners in judging what is considered high-quality evidence and examine ways in which this could be improved with links to patient outcomes from an ethical perspective.
    • A lonely business…reflections on well-being and the morale of dental teams

      Hayer, Natasha; Wassif, Hoda; University of Bedfordshire (Nature Publishing, 2019-04-26)
      With the evolution of humanising patient-dentist interaction within healthcare has come an equal need to humanise staff interaction in order to optimise patient care. There is growing evidence to support the need to invest in enhancing team morale, given that its impact, when low, results in reduced quality of patient care. This paper endeavours to reflect on dental teams' wellbeing and morale and propose a strategy for change to enhance these aspects of team interactions. The theme throughout is to focus on staff wellbeing, in order to initiate a change in work ethic which should in turn initiate a positive work environment. The two strategies discussed are leadership changes conducive to a servant leadership style and a mentorship/buddy programme focusing on reducing stress among dental professionals. Both strategies have their merits and faults, but the purpose of the paper is to prompt food for thought as to how to raise team morale in dental practice. With the evolution of humanising patient-dentist interaction within healthcare has come an equal need to humanise staff interaction in order to optimise patient care. There is growing evidence to support the need to invest in enhancing team morale, given that its impact, when low, results in reduced quality of patient care. This paper endeavours to reflect on dental teams' wellbeing and morale and propose a strategy for change to enhance these aspects of team interactions. The theme throughout is to focus on staff wellbeing, in order to initiate a change in work ethic which should in turn initiate a positive work environment. The two strategies discussed are leadership changes conducive to a servant leadership style and a mentorship/buddy programme focusing on reducing stress among dental professionals. Both strategies have their merits and faults, but the purpose of the paper is to prompt food for thought as to how to raise team morale in dental practice.
    • Older and wiser? first year BDS graduate entry students and their views on using social media and professional practice

      Knott, PN; Wassif, Hoda; University of Bedfordshire; University of Central Lancashire (Springer Nature, 2018-08-31)
      The use of social media sites (SMS) has increased exponentially since their creation and introduction in the early 2000s. The number of regular users of SMS is estimated at over two billion people worldwide. Ethical and legal guidelines exert an additional responsibility on the behaviour of both graduate and undergraduate dentists when compared to members of the general public with some assumption that life experience can offer some insight into attitudes about online use of social media in relation to professional practice. Aim We set out to explore the views of the first year graduate entry programme students at the University of Central Lancashire and their use of SMS together with their opinions on what they consider to be professional online behaviour. Methods A mixed-methods approach was adopted with a questionnaire and semi-structured interviews which were designed to elicit the students’ opinions. Results For this group of students, 100% were using social media sites and some were aware of some of their limitations and possible impact on their careers. There was some rather superficial knowledge of what is and is not professional to post via social media, however, students were not fully aware about the legal and ethical guidelines in place in relation to the topic. Conclusion Results from this study present an opportunity and a challenge for educators to incorporate additional details not only about professionalism and ethical and legal aspects within the undergraduate curriculum but more specific emphasis on the use of social media as part of the undergraduate BDS course.
    • Perception of studying dental law and ethics among postgraduate dental students in the UK

      Wassif, Hoda; ; University of Bedfordshire (Nature Publishing Group, 2015-08-14)
      Law and ethics is an integral part of medical and dental professional practice. The subject is touched upon in the undergraduate curriculum. Historically, dentists interested in postgraduate study in this subject have accessed courses on medical law and ethics. While there are areas of shared interest (for example, consent, confidentiality) there are differences in emphasis and content (for example, end of life care, organ transplants, etc) which are not relevant to dentistry. A new postgraduate certificate (PgCert) course was approved by the University of Bedfordshire designed specifically for dental practitioners, making it the only university accredited course in the UK that is specific to dental staff. Students' perception of the subject of dental law and ethics at a postgraduate level was not known. The first PgCert student cohort was assessed at the start and the end of the course using two questionnaires. Sixteen students, all qualified dental practitioners working in the UK, took part. The perception toward the subject of dental law and ethics was in-line with the current guideline and regulations governing the dental profession. Perception of dental law was clearer at the end of the course compared to the beginning while dental ethics remained a challenging subject.