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Title: The importance of teamwork and understanding : a study of shared learning between undergraduate dental students and trainee dental technicians
Author: Reeson, Michael G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2706 6018
Awarding Body: University of Sunderland
Current Institution: University of Sunderland
Date of Award: 2011
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This researcher investigated the professional experiences and development of trainee dental technicians and undergraduate dental students during a shared learning exercise in a combined UK university dental school and hospital. Two purposes framed the investigation: 1. To gain an in-depth understanding of the experiences of trainee dental technicians and undergraduate dental students during shared learning opportunities and 2. To examine whether interprofessional learning between trainee dental technicians and undergraduate dental students offered any professional and occupational specific disciplinary developmental benefits or disadvantages. Using a qualitative approach with a phenomenological framework, data sources included reflective diaries, focus group interviews and other salient material. Dialogue between the researcher and participants played a major part in ensuring the rigour of the study, participants having the opportunity to review the central concepts and excerpts within the thesis. Results indicated that both trainee dental technicians and undergraduate dental students were pragmatic but positive in terms of their expectations of shared learning. In particular, they regarded the exercise as useful in terms of communication and understanding each other‟s role. Overall there was little evidence arising from the data to support issues of power and perceived social and interprofessional hierarchies as impediments to learning. Findings from this study are consistent with previous research into interprofessional education, which demonstrate the significance of preconceptions based upon traditional and perhaps stereotypical perceptions of their own professional status. The students regarded the processes of shared learning as having a positive impact on future interprofessional teamwork. This empirical study assists in creating understandings about the benefits and limitations to shared learning between these two groups within the dental team. It also contributes to a currently under-theorised account of how relationships developed between these two groups may affect longer-term professional development. Implications are offered for future research involving the investigation that such learning may have on patient care.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Higher Education