Home' News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin June 2016 Contents COVER STORY
A workplace with training opportunities on
offer and a team that adopts a committed
attitude about the importance of
constantly working to improve their skills
creates a culture that values education and
skills improvement. And a valued team
usually results in a motivated one.
"There needs to be a cultural shift within
the workplace so that training and
continuing education is part of the way
everyone works," Professor Heiko Spallek,
Pro-Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry at the
University of Sydney says.
"If the expectations within a clinic are that
everyone works towards learning more to
be better at their job and within their field,
then they will do that.
"Creating a culture in which it is okay to
challenge the current way of doing things
and therefore triggering continuous
improvement can be hard, however
continuous improvement and striving
for best outcomes is an obligation to our
It is especially important, Professor Spallek
adds, within smaller practices.
"Some small business dentists and their
teams often work in isolation and a lack
of feedback can be a real problem for
everyone," he says. "These are the people
who really do need some peer coaching
or mentoring, to help identify gaps and
give them an opportunity to progress their
professional skills," he says.
Dr Phillip Palmer believes a staff that
embraces a positive attitude towards
upskilling makes for a practice where
everyone is performing at the top of
"No matter what we are doing today
in a clinic or what procedures we have
long worked with, we all know it could
change tomorrow," he says. "That's why we
constantly need training, just to keep up
with current thinking."
SETTING THE AGENDA
As dental practices run the gamut from
solo and small operations through to
multi-chair super clinics, a one size fits all
approach to training simply does not work.
With training, a number of models need
to be considered, ranging from workshop
clinics and in-house training through to
online educational modules.
Trainer Julie Parker claims responsibility for
training must lie with both management
and the team, with management needing
to identify areas requiring development
and seeking out courses or appoint
consultants to create bespoke programs.
She also stresses that individual team
members should identify the areas they
need additional training in, and present
ideas for what is needed for them to best
fulfil the responsibilities of their roles.
"These days, you're responsible for your own
career development, so I don't believe it is
just up to the boss to tell everyone what
training is to be completed," Parker says.
"All people in a team should feel they can
be taking their talents to another level
that will ultimately make doing their jobs
more satisfying. The best approach is for
everyone to think through their current
jobs and consider all the ways they could
do it better."
If different team members undertake
different training programs, Parker believes
the outcomes of their various learning
should not be in isolation, but instead
should be reported back on and discussed
at the next staff meeting.
"That way, it can be of benefit to the entire
team," she says. "Everyone should have the
opportunity to report back with the most
important lessons they gained, and how
they plan to implement it."
It is a policy that has proven effective for
the teams that work with Dr Vas Srinivasan,
the owner of the Invisible Orthodontics
Clinics on the Sunshine Coast.
"Our team members are offered a contract
with a dollar amount dedicated to
continuing professional development,"
he says. "They then get to choose what
it is they want to do, and after they have
attended, they give a report. This way,
training ideas that are passed on allow
everyone to reflect on what has been
discussed and possibly apply it as well."
ADA AND CONTINUING
One of the primary objectives of the
Australian Dental Association (ADA)
is the development and delivery of
Continuing Professional Development
(CPD) activities to members via
the ADA CPD Portal, ADA Interact
Webinars and to members and non-
members at the biennial Australian
Dental Congress (ADC).
CPD is ranked as one of the top two
most valued services for members of
the ADA. The ADA strives to provide
high quality CPD to ensure dental
practitioners have the capacity and
capability to provide safe and effective
Content on the ADA CPD Portal
includes short audio pieces, in-depth
video content and the popular
monthly ADA Interact webinars.
Topics covered range from
demonstrations of clinical procedures
and treatment to the importance of
health practitioners maintaining their
own health and wellbeing.
Explore the range of materials at:
28 | ADA NEWS BULLETIN | JUNE 2016
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