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Australian/New Zealand Bachelor of Oral Health students: sociodemographics and career decisions

Authors

  • R. J. Mariño,

    Corresponding author
    1. Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre, Melbourne Dental School, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic., Australia
    • Correspondence

      Rodrigo J. Mariño

      Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre, Melbourne Dental School, University of Melbourne, Vic 3010, Australia

      Tel: +1 61 3 9341 1558

      Fax: +1 61 3 9341 1597

      e-mail: rmarino@unimelb.edu.au

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  • S. L. Barrow,

    1. Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre, Melbourne Dental School, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic., Australia
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  • M. V. Morgan

    1. Oral Health Cooperative Research Centre, Melbourne Dental School, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Vic., Australia
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Abstract

This article describes the sociodemographic profile and factors affecting career decisions of Bachelor of Oral Health (BOH) students in Australia and New Zealand. Data were collected during the 2009 and 2011 academic years via online. A total of 271 students participated. The majority were female (87.8%), single (74.5%) and of Anglo-Saxon background (59.4%), and the average age was 23.7 years. The majority indicated that their fathers had at least secondary school education. The majority (52.8%) decided to study BOH after high school, and of those who commence after high school, 53.7% worked as a dental assistant/auxiliary. Career selection was self-motivated (70.2%) and a career to ‘care for and help other people’ (59.6%). Most respondents wished to work in a city (59.8%), in both the public and the private sectors (47.2%). This study represents a comprehensive assessment of BOH student profile in Australia and New Zealand. Findings indicate an overall different BOH student profile compared with other oral health profession students in Australia. A significant proportion had previous employment as a dental auxiliary staff and an increasing number of male students. Findings are relevant to educators, recruitment administrators and policy makers in the way the BOH profession is presented as a career option.

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