Short Research Report

Adapting an undergraduate dental objectively structured clinical examination (OSCE) during COVID‑19

R Maart, S Khan, B Kathree, R Ahmed, R Mulder, N Layloo, W Asia-Michaels

Abstract


Background

Acquiring psychomotor and clinical skills are an essential part of dental students training. This particular aspect posed a unique challenge for an undergraduate Prosthetic final year module in a South African dental school during the Corona virus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic. Teaching of clinical skills was completely interrupted during the country’s initial response to the pandemic. With the easing of country lockdown restrictions, the final year dental students were allowed to return to campus to continue with clinical practice training. This therefore called for innovative and novel strategies to determine and address inadequacies in their learning and clinical practices.

 

Objective

The purpose of the OSCE was to assess the impact of the interruption of clinical practice and clinical competence. 

Methods

An OSCE station was created for each student where all the questions were placed which was planned to be included by the department. The student therefore did not have to move from station-to-station, thus, he/she was the only one touching the different materials or instruments at that station. It was also based in an enclosed clinic, which was prepared using the advocated COVID protocols, and all clinics were equipped with the required instruments and equipment required for each question. To ensure social distancing, groups of students were scheduled individually, thus, the OSCE was conducted over 4 days with not more than 22 students per day.

 

 

Results

Performance of students in the OSCE provided feedback of clinical competence, preparedness to return to clinical practice and it also identified gaps in the teachings.

Conclusion

This assessment after such a long period of absence from clinics, including the assessment plan, structured feedback sessions involving the department gave the student’s confidence on their return to manage their patients.


Authors' affiliations

R Maart, Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

S Khan, Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

B Kathree, Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

R Ahmed, Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

R Mulder, Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

N Layloo, Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

W Asia-Michaels, Department of Prosthetic Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa

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Cite this article

African Journal of Health Professions Education 2021;13(3):208-209. DOI:10.7196/AJHPE.2021.v13i3.1515

Article History

Date submitted: 2021-10-07
Date published: 2021-10-07

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