ADTO and George Brown College have teamed up to streamline the process through which students can be placed with dental labs for field work. This document, put together by the college, outlines the program and details everything lab owners should know prior to requesting student placement.
Purpose of Field Work Placement
Field education is contextually based learning where the student is actively engaged in an ongoing learning process within an actual work setting. Field placement is a crucial part of the students’ education as it provides opportunities to learn through experience and allows the student to apply and practice the knowledge and skills gained in the college classroom with the opportunity for evaluative feedback in the work setting. The student can experience what it means to work in their chosen profession as part of a team that responds to the needs of individuals, groups and communities.
There are also reported benefits for employers that host students including improved productivity and service delivery enhancements, streamlined recruitment and screening processes, reduced training costs for new hires, highly motivated and creative students, and enhanced staff capacity and improved employee morale.
Selection and Assignment of Field Work Placements
Students are responsible to find their own placements during their fifth semester and are required to have one in place before the middle of December. Students may be expected to call for an interview and are reminded that it is the interviewer’s decision whether to accept them for placement.
Hours of Placement
Students are in the field during their sixth semester of the program commencing in January and continuing until mid-April for the duration of 12 weeks/288 hours. Students are at the college on Thursdays and Fridays and in the field on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Placement will be held for 7 weeks, followed by a one week break during which the students will not be in placement. The students will then return for another 5-6 weeks of placement. It is expected that the student will work an eight-hour day each day they are assigned to the field organization; however, if the student and Field Work Supervisor agree that another day or time period would be more beneficial, this is acceptable to the college as long as it does not conflict with scheduled classes.
Criteria for Field Placements
- The laboratory or organization should be interested in participating in Dental Technology education.
- The laboratory or organization’s philosophy of service should be compatible with the values and ethics of Dental Technologists and with the educational objectives of the Dental Technology program.
- The setting and organizational structure should allow for a fairly wide range of learning experiences.
- The field placement should allocate sufficient time for the Field Work Supervisor to carry out the following:
- Help the student prepare an initial Learning Contract
- Select assignments for the student
- Provide individual supervision and instruction
- Prepare for conferences or meetings with the student and the Faculty Advisor
- Complete the student evaluation
- Suitable space and working facilities should be available for students. The college recognizes that students may have to share space because of the lack of space in some settings.
- Where possible, it is hoped that students can be included in professional development activities that are available to staff and that this time would count as placement hours.
Criteria for selection of Field Work Supervisor
The Field Work Supervisor should have appropriate education, sufficient experience in the area of Dental Technology and a minimum of one year experience in their current position in order to instruct a student on the work of the specific laboratory or organization. The Field Work Supervisor must have demonstrated competency as a Dental Technology professional and must have an interest in students and Dental Technology work education.
Responsibilities for the Field Work Supervisor
The Field Work Supervisor will:
- Provide an orientation to the agency or organization.
- Ensure that the student is regarded as being in training and not a volunteer or an employee.
- Assist with the writing of a learning contract that will provide appropriate learning experiences for the student. While some time may be spent on tasks related to organizational support, this should not exceed one-third of the total time. When possible, students should be part of staff meetings, planning sessions and training sessions.
- Develop a plan with the student that ensures time at the placement is used effectively.
- Provide on-going feedback and support.
- Provide a written evaluation of the student’s work towards the end of the semester.
- Approve and sign a monthly timesheet confirming the student’s record of work.
- Maintain a liaison with the Dental Technology program.
- Ensure that expenses arising from work assigned by the organization are paid by the laboratory.
- Provide facilities for the student to carry out placement responsibilities.
- Provide the student with a safe environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Who are the key parties involved in Field Work Education?
- Field Work Supervisor - someone in the laboratory where the placement is offered, the supervisor does not necessarily have to be the Registered Dental Technologist onsite
- Faculty Advisor – an instructor in the Dental Technology program at George Brown College
Q. How does a student get placed at the field/clinical placement?
Q. Do students get paid for field placement?
A. No. Students cannot be paid for field placement as it is a credit course in the program. Students are not permitted to undertake a placement in an agency where they are employed.
Q. Can a student be denied placement?
A. Laboratories offering a field placement may screen all applicants for placement through an interview process and a student may be denied a placement due to the requirements of the agency.
Q. How are students evaluated for the field placement?
A. The Faculty Advisor will determine the student’s grade based on an evaluation completed by the field work supervisor. This evaluation includes both generic learning objectives and placement specific objectives developed by the student and field work supervisor.