New facilities transform the learning experience for UON's oral health students
New world-class oral health facilities at the University of Newcastle's (UON) Central Coast campus complement the introduction of the new three-year oral health therapy degree.
Until now, students could only graduate from the three-year degree as oral health hygienists; to graduate as an oral health therapist required an extra year of postgraduate studies.
The new state-of-art facilities, officially opened on Friday 8 May, will now allow students the chance to graduate with dual qualifications in the three years. Oral Health Therapy graduates are equipped with the skills and knowledge to provide high quality preventive and oral health care to children, adolescents and adults. The new simulation facilities at the Central Coast campus will help give students a better learning experience, and will also allow the campus's existing oral health clinic to spend more time serving the health needs of the local community.
The new oral health facilities include a simulation lab, wet lab, autoclave room and dental x-ray facilities, as well as upgraded teaching spaces, office space and amenities. The simulation lab has 17 life-like manikins that give students practical simulated experience and confidence prior to providing treatment on patients. This enables students to be clinically safe and competent and able to provide more treatment when they undertake the rural and urban clinical placement component of their studies.
Students can now also enjoy individualised learning in a group environment thanks to the installation of an overhead camera above the demonstration manikin at the front of the lab. The camera projects to the large screen, giving all students a clear view of the lecturer's demonstration and instructions.
The addition of new oral health facilities is an exciting step forward for the discipline of oral health at the University.
The University is exceptionally proud of its oral health students, past and present. The Bachelor of Oral Health had its first intake of students in 2005, and offered the Graduate Diploma in Dental Therapy from 2010 to 2014. In total, more than 440 oral health students have graduated from the University and are now working and contributing to the health of their communities in Australia and around the world.