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Posted by: The Probe 14th May 2021
The pandemic has been a time of great uncertainty for dental professionals. Although services have been steadily edging back towards what was once considered normal, the confusion of the early months left many individuals feeling like they had little support.
This is especially true when it comes to dental hygienists and dental therapists, many of whom work across multiple practices and therefore didn’t have the support network in place that other dental professionals could benefit from.
That’s why the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) is proud to have dedicated itself to helping those affected by the pandemic during this time. In fact, a recent questionnaire study that explored the perceived impact of Covid-19 on periodontal practice revealed that the BSDHT was one of the organisations that people felt they had received proper help and guidance from, especially in lieu of clear support from the government.[i]
Helping dental hygienists and dental therapists stay updated
One of the main effects of the Covid-19 pandemic is that it has forced industries to evolve and adapt rapidly in order to continue to operate. For dental professionals, this has meant that we have had to adapt rapidly to constantly changing guidelines, government uncertainty and new research about the virus as it’s come to light.
The BSDHT committed itself to keeping members updated with every relevant change during this time – not only highlighting government guidance as it was released but also sharing the articles and information about the virus as more information became available. This has included information regarding the vaccine and other important developments too, making sure that everyone in the profession is able to access the material relevant to them at just the click of a button.
Furthermore, members of the BSDHT receive a subscription to Dental Health – the Society’s well-respected journal. This publication includes cutting-edge information relevant to the profession so that individuals can keep ahead of the curve and well informed.
Support for you and your career
With so much confusion surrounding current events, the BSDHT has worked tirelessly to remain a trusted and helpful support for those in need. Our helpline has received more calls then ever, and the Society has helped hundreds of professionals with queries, concerns and other enquiries in the first lockdown period and beyond.
Members of the BSDHT have access to a great support network at the Society, and can email them or phone to receive guidance regarding anything from general questions to more specific issues if you are unsure how to proceed.
There is also a free legal helpline available for members that can help support you if you have any legal matters that you need to seek advice on – particularly useful if you have any questions regarding your legal rights during the pandemic or if you are unsure whether you can seek compensation from the government and such.
People who understand
At the very heart of the BSDHT is the sense of community that joining the Society affords. Working as a dental hygienist or dental therapists can be quite lonely, especially if you work across multiple practices and don’t have that team support in place.
The BSDHT has long acted as the perfect organisation for professionals to meet likeminded individuals as well as connect with colleagues nationally and in their area. Unfortunately meeting in person hasn’t been possible during the pandemic, but news and other information for Regional groups has still been available for professionals on the BSDHT website.
Another helpful resource put in place by the BSDHT recently has been a support group for those who have contracted Covid-19 and are still suffering from the effects. The virus is one of those illnesses that really can linger for months and months, sapping strength and leaving people unable to perform their usual professional duties. That’s why members of the BSDHT set up a Facebook group for individuals who are struggling and those who want to share any tips, advice and other helpful information that can help people through this tricky time. Since its inception this group has grown to hundreds of members, and remains a valuable resource for those who need a helping hand and some extra comfort during this crisis.
Join a Society that cares
In the end, the BSDHT has continually strived to be a supportive, helpful and informative influence during the pandemic for dental hygienists and dental therapists. The current success of the vaccine roll out programme suggests that trickier times are behind us, but the support from the BSDHT for its members will remain in place, meaning that by becoming a member you can always rely on the Society to give you the advice you need in every situation.
To find out more about becoming a member of the BSDHT, please contact the team today.
DIANE ROCHFORD – President BSDHT – CEB DIP DENT HYGIENE 1996, BSC (HONS) 2016 – DENTAL HYGIENIST
[i] Nibali, L., Ide, M., Ng,D., Buontempo, Z., Clyaton, Y., Asimakopoulou, K. The perceived Impact of Covid-19 On Periodontal Practice in the United Kingdom: A Questionnaire Study. Journal of Dentistry. 102 (2020) 103481.
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