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Kangaroo Island Dental’s OHT, Chloe talks about her time working as a Graduate with Dental Outreach

“As a relatively new graduate, the amount of support I have received from working within Dental Outreach is one of many things that I have found most valuable. The Principal Dentists’ will always provide me with clinical support no matter the question and make time to meet with me to work toward being a better clinician and provide the best care to my patients on KI. The regional managers will answer any questions and help problem solve issues that may arise day-to-day in the regional clinics.

Working within the group has allowed me to work across different rural clinics and within a variety of communities. I feel there is the opportunity for growth within this group and ability to develop my skills as an Oral Health Therapist (OHT) given the complexity of cases I am faced with daily. The ongoing support from other clinicians, including from Dr Tony Bart has allowed me to learn from each case and has given me the opportunity to discuss the more complex cases with such an experienced clinician and work towards managing cases in the best way possible.

The monthly CPD courses also allows us clinicians to keep up to date with CPD training, once again allowing for clinical growth and professional development.

Being a part of this group means I am able to provide dental care through school visits in KI where access is a barrier, and also given the opportunity to work in other regions such as Ceduna and Peterborough.

I have been living and working on Kangaroo Island for 7 months, and so far I am thoroughly enjoying it. Originally when taking on the position, I wasn’t sure how I was going to manage living so far away from home, friends and family. However, since relocating to a regional area, I have since discovered a sense of warmth and comfort of being apart of a small community. Driving down the road you will always have locals’ wave at you in your car and most people know who you are. Despite living here alone, I get a sense that if I were to ever need help there will be someone willing to lend a hand. I have found that working in a regional area people are quite accepting. Given the great need for healthcare in remote areas most people are just so grateful for your help, hoping that you enjoy the town so that you will stay for a decent amount of time.

Since working regionally I’ve noticed many patients often lose trust in the health care system, because in these regional towns locums work only for a few weeks or months at a time, followed by periods of no clinician. From here patients get moved, cancelled and then have to rebuild trust with another clinician. I feel it is rewarding that I have been able to provide stability for many of the children over here, and they can have comfort in knowing they are seeing the same person for their 6 monthly exams, and we can together work to maintain good oral hygiene from their younger years into their teens.

I have found it rewarding to not only treat the children, but to then have the opportunity and trust from their parents who have avoided dentists for many years now having the confidence to come in for hygiene appointments. Then, given how small it is, you then get to see the grandparents, cousins and so on, allowing to develop and even stronger trust and rapport within the community.

Since starting with Dental Outreach in July 2022, my passion for regional health has grown tremendously and I look forward to not only growing as an OHT, but to continue to form strong relationships with in KI’s community and make a change in their Dental health and education.”

Chloe Oral Health Therapist


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