Pupil’s guide to dentistry student shadowing
Updated on 7 July 2023
Important guidance and advice for pupils who shadow a University of Dundee Dentistry student.
Your student shadowing day
Please take some time to read through this guide, as it contains important advice and guidance that you will need to adhere to during your visit. You’ll be within both University of Dundee and NHS buildings therefore you must be aware of the regulations of both.
What is a student shadowing day?
During a student shadowing day, a Reach pupil will accompany a current dental student during their typical day at University. This will involve pupils attending lectures, tutorials, clinical skills sessions and clinics etc under the supervision of the dental student. You may also be in clinical areas and meet NHS patients as a representative of your school and the University therefore you must remain professional at all times.
What are the benefits of a student shadowing day to pupils and students?
School pupils gain an invaluable insight into the practicalities of being a dental student and learn about different teaching styles and clinical training. A significant impact of these days comes from introducing the pupil to the dental school environment and chatting to real students about their experiences. This gives the pupils a lot of motivation and confidence in their abilities to pursue a place at dental school. Additionally, student shadowing days provide interesting experiences for the pupils to reflect on within their UCAS personal statements and discuss at interview.
Dental students also benefit from hosting a school pupil. Students enjoy the opportunity to share their experiences and help applicants. Some may also get the chance to do some ‘teaching’ depending on what their day involves. Being a role model and mentor to the pupils is valuable for job and further training applications.
During the sessions you may get the opportunity to participate in activities. Please remember that the dental students you are with may be your future peers and the consultants and academic staff may be your future leaders. Therefore be aware of your attitude towards the tasks and lessons. This is a great opportunity for you to network and get to know dental professionals who could help you with your future careers. The people you will meet have all volunteered to host you for the day so will be very keen to help and advise you.
Please dress smartly. As you will be shadowing current students in clinical and non- clinical areas we expect you to adhere to the same NHS guidelines that they follow. School uniform is not required, but you may wish to wear your school uniform without your tie.
Examples of unacceptable garments on include, but are not limited to, denims, leggings, casual sportswear, shorts, combat trousers, caps/hats, overly tight or revealing clothes or items of clothing bearing inappropriate slogans. Think about how you would like to see your own dentist presented.
Whilst on clinical areas you will be provided with a tunic to wear on top with your own smart trousers or skirt. It can get very hot on clinics so you may wish to wear a small vest style top underneath your tunic. Hair must be clean, tidy and off the collar whilst wearing tunics. Long hair below collar length should be tied up close to the head.
You must not:
- wear denim trousers or skirts that are too short
- wear watches or jewellery, unless it is your own wedding ring
- wear high heels, shoes must be closed toe
- wear nail varnish or false nails, they should be short and clean
On the morning of your visit
After you have met your student you must report to the University of Dundee Dental School Admin Office with your student. They will ask you to complete the NHS confidentiality agreement which must be signed prior to accessing any clinics. You must also obtain a badge from the office to wear at all times.
Your student will then take you to the Linen Room to obtain a loan tunic that must also be worn at all times and returned at the end of your visit.
You will need to arrive on time. Dental students are required to be punctual at all times therefore we expect this of you too. Please ensure you are aware of where and when to meet your dental student and if you are unsure then contact your student before to clarify. Late coming may result in cancellation of your student shadowing day.
If you have any problems on the morning of your visit please contact the student who is hosting you in the first instance – their details are in the log form. If you do not manage to make contact with the student then please call Jan on 01382 381899. Your shadowing day could be cancelled if you are late and you do not inform us.
Ensure that you are aware of all safety arrangements within all of the buildings that you are visiting. Ask your student to alert you to the fire exits and meeting points. You must stay with your student at all times. You will be in many clinical and high-risk areas therefore safety is paramount. If you are unsure of anything at any time then ask your student or the consultant/supervisor in charge.
As aspiring dental students we expect you to display professional qualities that encompass your attitudes, behaviours and learning. Becoming a dentist requires you to reflect about, develop and demonstrate that you can behave professionally in relation to duty, adaptability, open-mindedness, self-reflection, self-improvement, life-long learning and the pursuit of scholarship and excellence and this starts now!
During your visit to the University of Dundee we expect you to fully engage in the student experience and behave responsibly and professionally at all times. .
Feedback and incident reporting
We always welcome your feedback on the student shadowing days. We want to hear about your experiences with the student. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve on our processes please let us know. Feedback forms will be sent to you via email after your student shadowing day.
Should any incident occur during your student shadowing, or if you any cause for concern then please let Amy know firstname.lastname@example.org
This opportunity will give you an insight into studying dentistry at university. By participating in this shadowing visit, you are showing that you are actively taking an interest in studying your course and that you understand the work necessary to succeed.
How to make the most of your student shadowing day - reflections
If you are applying to University this year, we strongly advise that you discuss your student shadowing experience in your UCAS personal statement. We have included a short reflection form in this guidance. You may find answering the following questions to be useful in reflecting on your experience. You should try to answer the questions as fully as possible. These questions will give you an idea of the level of reflection needed in your personal statement. Remember, admissions tutors are keen to know what research you have done on your chosen courses. It is also important to relate what you have gained from this experience directly to why you should be successful in your application. Use the questions below to make some memorable notes.
- What classes did you attend? What teaching styles did you experience? (100 words)
- Which buildings did you visit and what facilities did you use? (100 words)
- What did you learn about studying at University? (100 words)
- What did you learn about studying dentistry at University? (100 words)
- What skills did you use and develop during your day? (100 words)
- Were there any skills which you felt you could improve before beginning your degree? How are you going to improve these? (100 words)
- What part of your day did you enjoy the most and why? (100 words)
Reach Project Officer