Study key to smiles
TAFE SA can help satisfy the demand for dental technicians, writes Adam Hegarty
Advanced Diploma: The Advanced Diploma of Oral Health (Dental Hygiene) is a full-time or part-time course that takes 24 months or equivalent. WITH demand for qualified dental technicians soaring across the country, TAFE SA will for the first time offer a midyear intake for the Diploma of Dental Technology.
The course is designed to give graduates the skills and knowledge needed to become a dental technician.
It also provides a career pathway for students wanting to undertake further studies in the Advanced Diploma of Dental Prosthetics.
It comes with TAFE SA on the verge of launching a revitalised brand to students and job seekers at the upcoming Tertiary Studies and Careers Expo in Adelaide.
TAFE SA chief executive Elaine Bensted says the focus of the new brand is about reengaging people with the state’s largest provider of vocational education and training.
Its exhibit will include a Virtual Dresser – an interactive display giving students the chance to try on a career as a ‘‘ fun starting point’’ to planning their career.
‘‘ Seminars will give up-todate information about TAFE SA courses and study options, pathways from school and to university, hot job prospects in emerging industries and how to get ahead with study,’’ Bensted says.
Student counsellors also will be on hand to give career advice and information about changes to training under new State Government programs.
Qualified Dental Technician Tom Rollings, who runs a small commercial dental laboratory with his wife and son, is completing the twoyear Advanced Diploma of Dental Prosthetics with TAFE.
He is currently only able to supply dentures direct to dentists but, when he completes the course, he will be able to offer custom-made dentures directly to clients.
‘‘ I don’t like the term ‘ challenging’ but going back to study at 53 years of age has definitely been that,’’ he says.
‘‘ One thing that stood out was an assignment on handling difficult patient cases.
‘‘ After so many years of owning my own business, I thought I could handle almost anything that a customer could throw at me.
‘‘ But working in the clinic situation at TAFE with real patients gave me a real insight and new ways to deal with this.’’
TAFE SA is the largest provider of vocational education and training in South Australia, training nearly 80,000 students each year and offering hundreds of courses across 48 campuses state-wide.
INSIGHT: Tom Rollings is on the verge of completing his two-year Advanced Diploma of Dental Prosthetics.