Online training for dental health professionals is more affordable than face-to-face training. This could help to resolve the shortage of 4,000 dental professionals that’s predicted by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). Online dental training has increased over the past two years. While dental professionals are now back to getting hands-on training, there are big benefits in sticking with online training.
More knowledge & confidence
The dental industry is continually changing. Technology is playing a big role in this and will continue to do so in the future. 3D printing and laser technology are just two growing areas. All dental health professionals need to stay in the know and online training is a great way to do this. Ongoing training helps you to improve your dental techniques, increase the services you provide, improve the care you give, and help to make you credible. The more you know, the more confidence you’ll have, which is important when you’re working closely with the general public and trying to run a successful business.
Complements face-to-face training
There’s no denying that hands-on training is crucial for dental professionals. But studies have found that endodontic e-learning can help students provide better treatment to patients. A recent study revealed that students who had face-to-face teaching and e-learning training made fewer errors when carrying out their first root canal treatment compared to the students who only had face-to-face training. This shows that being able to view videos of treatment as many times as needed can improve the skills that dental professionals acquire.
The endodontic study highlighted above shows how online training is measurable. The researchers used performance and radiographic assessment items to identify which group of dental professionals performed better. Gauging how your workers are doing in the job is a big thing. You can do this by getting employees to complete a survey immediately after completing an online training session. This allows you to find out whether your team finds the online training useful and whether anything didn’t work for them so you can make changes. Including quizzes in online training material is a good idea as you can view the answers and see which things staff members need further support in. They can then shadow you when you’re with patients to improve in these areas.
As already mentioned, the dental industry is growing and evolving rapidly. There are so many new treatment options and technology to get to grips with. But as individuals in the dental industry typically work 35 hours per week, it can be tough to find time to train face-to-face. Online learning means there’s no need to arrange for groups of workers to take time off to attend a course in another location. Dental training courses can be accessed 24/7 so dental professionals can access them when they want. This is great for managing a work-life balance. Training is also easier to digest as it can be done in small chunks to suit the individual.
Lower staff turnover
A recent study found that 27.5% of dental assistants and 29% of dental associates plan to leave their jobs within 12 months. Providing online learning opportunities to your dental staff is a good way to retain them as 68% of employees say staff training is the most important part of a job. By simply making online training courses available to your workers, you show you’re interested in their career development and this will make them more likely to stay with your dental practice.
Dental health professionals must continue to develop and learn new skills regardless of how long they’ve been in the job. Online learning is a great way to do this as it’s accessible, affordable, and flexible.
About the Author
Jennifer Hawley is an occupational health therapist turned freelance writer. She has a passion for digital and health related topics and loves exploring and commenting upon the latest research. When not working, she loves to visit family in Europe, enjoys horse riding with her children and reading as much as possible.