Institutional Best Practices And Distinctiveness

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSIONS

A major shift in the students learning method has been the implementation of small group teaching which has been in vogue since July 2017.Accordigly a class of hundred students has been divided in to three groups and separate lectures are taken with high emphasis on creative activity. This enables the teaching to be learner centred, with all students joining in free discussion of a given topic’.

Advantages of Small Group Discussions

A well designed small group teaching has clear benefits for student learning in terms of retention of information, critical thinking and consolidation of learning from different parts of a programme. Small groups provide opportunities for learning that are difficult to establish in large group settings. They are particularly useful to enable learners to take part in discussion, active participation, feedback and to consolidate learning, understanding, explore ideas and concepts. Depending on the purpose and nature of the group, small group teaching can also help to develop ‘transferable’ skills, such as study skills, communication skills, teamwork, problem solving and personal development.

The monthly schedule will be prepared by faculty in the departments and the same will be provided to the students with the topics to be covered and the activities to be done. The students’ response has been very encouraging and positive. The major impact of this method has been its effect on slow learners and otherwise reticent students. The activities have been well appreciated by learners there by increasing their participation. Also It was observed that many students showed improvement in their communication skills and learnt the subject better than the regular lectures.

The activities include case-based learning – case studies and problem solving, think-pair-share, quick quizzes, mind mapping, multiple choice questions, Role-play etc.,

COMPREHENSIVE DENTAL CARE

A unique path-breaking and innovative dental care system developed in the institution has been the implementation of comprehensive dental care. Dental problems in the institutions are taken care in separate specialised departments in which the patients are referred to get their treatment done. Thissystem which is being followed throughout the country has many drawbacks. In addition a lot of time waste often there is miscommunication between specialities which may result in sub optimal treatment. Further the learnersdo not get a chance to treat the patients holistically and are encouraged to deliver piece-meal therapy which would be a serious impediment when they will go for private practice. Taking in to consideration all the above factors a major step was taken in july 2017 to convert all the existing undergraduate clinics into comprehensive dental care sections in which all the dental procedures for a particular patient is completed under one roof and by one learner under the supervision of faculty drawn from all the departments. This system not only enables the learner to view patient as a whole but also helps in making a complete treatment plan and deliver the required procedure’s with prioritisation patients on the other hand are immensely benefitted due to the continuity of treatment procedure’s without any wastage of time. Feedbacks taken from the students one year after the implementation of the system has been excellent and highly appreciated.

Institutional Distinctiveness

Oral health services in India are affected by problems of availability, accessibility, affordability, acceptability and accommodation of services. Majority of the Dentists tend to practice in urban and sub-urban areas ignoring poor rural population with greater treatment needs. These people need to travel far distances to get their dental needs addressed. Keeping these in mind Vishnu dental college has established up till now twenty satellite dental clinics in the districts of west Godavari east Godavari and Krishna. These clinics also help provide exposure to rural dental practice for the students, generate employment opportunities for the alumni and job opportunity to the rural unemployed youth as supporting staff. Each satellite clinic is fully equipped and caters to the dental needs of over 50000 people.

Every satellite clinic is equipped with 2 dental chairs, a qualified dental surgeon, a dental nurse and an attender. Basic primary and emergency dental care will be provided at these centers on all working days. On-site specialized dental care will be provided by a visiting specialist on a weekly basis. Patients requiring comprehensive multi-disciplinary care are referred to our tertiary care center where all provisions to render such care exist.

In order to create oral health awareness among the public, we interact and work in collaboration with village level health workers like Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHAs), Anganwadi workers and Multi-purpose health workers (MPHWs). These health care workers are trained to identify common oral diseases in a given population and also to inform about the services provided at our centers. Both undergraduate and post graduate students are deployed to work in association with these village level workers to appraise the rural inhabitants regarding oral diseases and their prevention. Periodic meetings are held at all levels to resolve any issues encountered.

Taking the advantage of digital technology, all the satellite clinics are equipped with internet, digital radiography and digital photography facilities. This ensures better connectivity of these centers with the tertiary care center and allows exchange of opinions with specialists. To update the knowledge of working dentists and enhance their skills, continuing dental education programs are conducted regularly. As a unique initiative, we conduct ‘Door To Door Oral Health Screening Program i.e Miles For Smiles’, our community radio service, Radio Vishnu (90.4 FM) to deliver health care messages to the rural masses through panel discussions, ,live interactive sessions, phone in programs and health talks. All these initiatives enhance provision of high quality dental health care and help to improve the oral health related quality of life of rural population we serve.

This massive community reach program has become extremely popular and the number of patients utilizing the services in these clinics is steadily going up.