As part of Restart-a-Heart day for the past 3 years dental students have provided opportunistic training to adults and children attending Glasgow Science Centre, a facility designed to promote an interest in science and health in children and adults.
All Dental Students in the UK receive comprehensive training in BLS and in Glasgow this includes wider medical emergencies. Competencies in both are assessed on an annual basis as medical emergencies including cardiac arrest could occur at any time in a dental setting. Dental students are trained communicators and have extensive experience dealing with the public including children and should be well suited to a training role promoting BLS and defibrillation skills.
The attendees of all ages responded and interacted well with the dental students and gave good feedback about the experience. Individuals with and without previous BLS training reported an increase in their confidence in casualty assessment and delivering emergency care. The dental students also gave feedback reporting that this training event led to an increase in confidence in their BLS skills and their ability to act as both BLS Skills tutors and team leaders in their future role as dentists.
All dental practices in Scotland have been provided with a defibrillator by the Scottish Government as part of public access defibrillation. The sessions highlighted the lack of public awareness about this and suggests that participants would consider attending dental surgeries as a venue for BLS and defibrillation training.
This project suggests that dental professionals in training should be involved with BLS training as part of their curriculum and highlights the potential of dental professionals to help with public training in BLS.