Study key to smiles

TAFE SA can help sat­isfy the de­mand for den­tal tech­ni­cians, writes Adam He­garty

The Advertiser - Careers - - Tertiary Studies & Careers Expo -

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.

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