Wesleyan’s Next Step virtual event success for dental students

next stepWesleyan looks back on its successful Next Step virtual event, which kicked off last Tuesday to a leading line up of dental speakers.

Wesleyan’s the ‘Next Step’ programme kicked off its first live virtual panel event on Tuesday evening. More than 100 dental students signed up to the event.

Hosted by Capital Xtra’s Remel London and joined by some of the brightest talents in dentistry, the virtual experience proved to be a success with plenty of interaction and engagement from the panellists and students.

The panellists, all influential dentists, covered a variety of topics. From kickstarting your Dental Foundation Training (DFT) year to healthy body and healthy mind – and making the most of your professional and personal connections.

COVID-19 impact on dentistry

Despite an overarching theme for each topic, unsurprisingly, the discussion quickly turned to the current pandemic. Discussions covered how COVID-19 has impacted dental students as well as those who have started DFT this year.

Talking about how the DFT programme will look this year, Dr David Olubunmi said: ‘Life as a DFT will come with huge changes. Particularly compared to how it has been in the past. Especially time spent with patients and the fallow time process involved. Life as a dentist is very different.’

The message was one of empathy and assurance from Dr Bethany Rushworth. ‘Dental students I speak to are feeling understandably anxious. They’re uncertain about the number of patients they can now see,’ she says, referring to the concern around de-skilling.

Taking the Next Step

On a more personal level, Bethany explained it has shifted her focus to engaging with peers more online: ‘It’s enabled me to personally take my career direction and mindset in a different way. Such as offering 1:1 coaching online.’

Whilst the pandemic has brought huge changes to the way dentists and dental students have had to operate, Dr Natalie Bradley described how it has enabled her to be more flexible.

With less hands-on clinical work, the experiences have opened up new opportunities in different aspects of dentistry.

With Natalie working solidly throughout the pandemic in a number of London hospitals, she said: ‘I’ve definitely felt more connected during this pandemic. We are all in this together. I’ve met some great connections who I might not have met before the pandemic.’

The focus turned to money management. Bethany Rushworth shared her advice on what students should consider: ‘Good financial habits are important. Especially considering the differences in income between student/DFT, NHS and private. It’s important to make adjustments to your needs and lifestyle.’

Balancing work and home life

The panel then discussed how important it is to look after yourself mentally and physically.

Dental students are experiencing a different way of learning. DFT will look and feel different for anyone entering the workplace.

From all panellists it was clear to understand the importance of making a division between work and home life. Now more than ever, and taking time out to switch off is key to getting the balance right.

The Next Step is hosting another live dental webinar on the 18 November.

Register now for your space: register.gotowebinar.com/register/6196818257925932304.

For more information on Wesleyan’s Next Step visit thenextstep.wesleyan.co.uk.

Wesleyan’s wellbeing hub has recently been launched to give support, advice and reassurance that you may need during this difficult period wesleyanwellbeing.co.uk.

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