Curtin Uni dental students get experience at Derbarl Yerrigan Aboriginal Health Service


Curtin University students Jessica Cesare and Rachel Weaver with client Margaret Ranger.
Curtin University students Jessica Cesare and Rachel Weaver with client Margaret Ranger.

FINAL year oral health therapy students from Curtin University are getting hands on experience through a volunteer program at the Derbarl Yerrigan Aboriginal Health Service.

The program, based in East Perth, has been running since July 2015, giving students experience and for the first time, the opportunity to carry out procedures.

Twenty final year dental students took part in the program this semester, with two students attending the East Perth clinic each week.

Reena Kataria said the students were allowed to carry out scale and cleans and dental X-rays as part of a six month trial program.

“In the past, students have only been allowed to observe these procedures being carried out,” Dr Kataria said.

“But we felt since the students are only a few months away from graduating, it would be beneficial for them to get more hands on experience.

“We make sure that our clients are aware that their treatment is going to be carried out by a student and ensure they are comfortable with this before they arrive at the clinic.

“Naturally the students will only carry out these procedures under supervision, but we are very confident they’ll do a good job.”

Curtin University student Rachel Weaver volunteered at the clinic last week, and said getting hands on experience was a great way to learn.

“Having the opportunity to be invited to attend work experience placement at Derbarl Yerrigan provided me with an enormous insight into working alongside a diverse range of staff and patients,” she said.

“It was a rewarding experience that has encouraged my professional growth and has better equipped me for my future career.”

Student Jessica Cesare also said the placement was a valuable experience.

“Derbarl Yerrigan is a fantastic placement opportunity where we were given an experience of the workforce we will be entering into. The staff there were absolutely lovely and very helpful.”