Putting the spotlight on dental hygienists and therapists

BSDHT conferenceTo mark the BSDHT’s delight at hosting this year’s oral health conference on 26 and 27 November at the SEC in Glasgow, president Diane Rochford shares some new insights into what the society is all about.

What does it mean to you to be president of the BSDHT with the conference fast approaching?

It is an honour to serve as president of our professional society, representing dental hygienists and dental therapists in the wider arena of dentistry. And also to continue the excellent work of the presidents who came before me.

How important do you think it is for dental professionals to become a member of a society like the BSDHT?

It is very important; the BSDHT is there to support members throughout their professional lives, from their time as a student through to retirement.

Not only does BSDHT offer many benefits, but we also strive for change. Such as Direct Access and, more recently, the ongoing work for Exemptions.

Without members and their support, changes such as these are not possible. There is also a feeling of belonging and an opportunity to forge friendships along the way.

What difference does membership make to the day-to-day lives of your colleagues?

The selection of member benefits that the society offers is vast. Ranging from indemnity to legal support, to asking questions and seeking advice relating to clinical practice or other aspects of work from a member of the BSDHT exec team.

We also provide educational opportunities to keep up to date with CPD. And, of course, there is the networking aspect and a general feeling of camaraderie.

Why is the theme of the upcoming event ‘See and be seen – putting the spotlight on dental hygienists and dental therapists’?

The title was originally for the 2020 conference. It was to showcase and enhance delegates’ skills, and celebrate how we as a profession have evolved and can continue to do so in the future.

We also wanted to shine a light on how we can engage both personally and professionally, so that, as individuals and a profession, we are visible.

Shining a spotlight on our profession is even more important in 2021. With the many changes that have occurred over the past two years and future possibilities, as a profession we need to be seen.

There’s a move this year to embrace everything more holistically. Why is that?

Clinically, the evidence base supporting a holistic approach to patient care is growing.

Personally, we also need to take a holistic approach; COVID-19 has had an impact on us in many ways. It is important that we consider all aspects of our life and health, including mental and emotional wellbeing.

What do you think is motivating people to attend this year?

The joy of re-connecting in person with our friends and colleagues, who we haven’t seen over the past two years. It’s a chance to share stories and catch up on the news and meet new colleagues in person for the first time, who, so far, we have only got to know in the virtual world. We need to step out from behind our screens!

It is also an opportunity to meet with our colleagues from the dental trade, who support not only BSDHT but also our members in their practices. And, of course, the fantastic speakers who are looking forward to presenting to a live audience once again.

What are you most excited about?

I love Glasgow. It is one of my favourite cities, so I am excited to be in Glasgow with our wonderful BSDHT family and the speakers, who are just as excited to be there.

I can’t wait to catch up with friends and make some new ones.

What would you say to anyone not sure about coming or worried about staying safe?

BSDHT and our conference partners, Profile Productions, are working on a COVID safe policy. In addition to SEC’s policy, which follows Scottish government guidance to ensure we hold a safe conference.

As dental professionals, we also have a sense of responsibility to keep ourselves and others safe. With frequent testing and following the necessary guidance, we will do everything we can to keep each other safe during our time at the conference.

Talking to fellow dental professionals, our colleagues from the dental trade and the some of the speakers at this year’s conference over the past few months, there is a genuine sense of excitement that BSDHT is continuing with plans to hold an in-person conference this year.

Please join us if you can. We have all waited a long time for this and it is definitely an opportunity not to be missed.

Don’t miss out! Places are limited and getting booked up very quickly. For your chance to gain 12 hours of CPD, listen to the very best lectures, expand your network and have fun, call 01788 575050, email [email protected] or visit www.bsdht.org.uk.

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