Oral care training in the basic education of care professionals


Heidi Samson, Department of Clinical Dentistry – Gerodontology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Åarstadveien 17, NO – 5009 Bergen, Norway.
Tel.: +47 55 58 64 91
Fax: +47 55 58 64 89
E-mail: heidi.samson@iko.uib.no


Oral care training in the basic education of care professionals

Objective:  To investigate the quantity and quality of oral care training in the basic education of future long-term care (LTC) professionals in Norway.

Background:  The level of oral hygiene has often proved inadequate in LTC facilities. It has been maintained that this could be due to insufficient knowledge of oral care among care professionals.

Materials and methods:  A self-administered questionnaire was sent to all 270 schools in Norway which offered basic education of LTC personnel in 2004/05. Information on theoretical and practical oral care training, scope of oral care in teaching material and curriculum, educational background of the teaching staff and schools opinion regarding adequacy of their training programme was collected.

Results:  Of the 203 respondents (75% response rate), 188 (participants) included oral care in their educational programme. Approximately two-thirds of the participating schools provided 3 h or more of oral care training and many of the important themes were presented in the textbooks that were recommended. Moreover, the practical exercises performed in practice placement supplemented the knowledge.

Conclusion:  The results could not confirm that LTC professional’s basic education concerning oral care was inadequate. There may therefore be other explanations for the poor oral hygiene in many LTC facilities.