Supportive practices and self care for OHP’s – ADOHTA 2021

Supportive practices and self care for OHP’s

1530 – 1630 

Many factors contribute to our heighten stress levels and our working environment more than ever can be a source of that stress. In Australia, the dental and oral health therapy (OHT’s) workforce has evolved. It’s become professionally valued, pushing through previously confined and restricted practice barriers to run and own dental practices. We provide care on levels not seen in the past and working more than ever in many diverse clinical environments, locations and with other health professionals. With the proliferation of different working environments has come the further responsibilities for our professional ‘self’. Working with an expanded scope of practice and the required tertiary education at post graduate levels, OHT’s are working in more technically skilled areas with more challenging clinical and patient management situations. Revised practice settings in public sector, private and corporate bring with it the added drivers of maximizing treatment for the allocated patient appointment, clinical out-put and financial considerations for the employer. With these expanded employment opportunities and increased skill levels comes the additional onus of continued education and training which needs to be maintained to be contemporary and competitive in the job market. With this expansion of the profession comes stressors on individuals to keep pace with the changing working environment. Wherever the practice setting or geographical location, understanding supportive practice, knowing how, where and why we need self-care and how that can be implemented, can assist OHT’s be better equipped in the ‘new practice world’ in which we find ourselves.