Objectives: A pilot oral health promotion student placement program was developed in February 2009 to provide final year Bachelor of Oral Health students with an opportunity to experience a community based aged care placement, and to provide health promotion to residents and staff within these Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF). Design: Students in the final year of the Bachelor of Oral Health, University of Newcastle were placed in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACF) that volunteered to participate in the program. Management at the RACF were interviewed to determine existing levels of oral health awareness and services provided, and the participating students completed pre-and post-participation surveys to determine knowledge and experience with older adults. Results: A total of 54 students participated and were placed in 17 RACF across the Central Coast area of New South Wales, Australia. Students produced oral hygiene teaching aids and a scientific poster as assessment tasks linked with the placement program, and assisted residents with their oral hygiene care. Students identifi ed improvement in their skills and knowledge as a result of the experiences during the placement program. Conclusions: The student placement program provided a supportive teaching and learning environment where students built on and improved their communications skills and oral health knowledge pertaining to the older person.
International Journal of Health Promotion and Education Vol. 48, Issue 4, p. 111-114