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With so many unknowns, we recognise that COVID-19 has the potential to make an already stressful Dental application even more difficult. We also look at some COVID-19 Interview Questions
To help, we have compiled the most useful information here. This includes FREE COVID-19 interview questions and model answers.
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Our team is made of solely dentists, many of whom have worked on the frontline alongside doctors and healthcare professionals to fight the COVID-19 Pandemic.
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COVID-19 Interview Questions (Sample)
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They’re pretty common in people, and they usually cause just the common cold. They’re also found in many different species of animals. Very rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect and spread between people. Examples of animal coronaviruses that infect humans include: Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and the one we’re dealing with now, called SARS Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2).
The disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 has been named Coronavirus Disease 2019 and abbreviated COVID-19. We first saw this virus in late 2019 in Wuhan, China. SARS-CoV-2 is a Betacoronavirus, like MERS coronavirus and SARS coronavirus. And all 3 have their origin in bats. [MERS-CoV likely jumped from bats to dromedary camels in the distant past before appearing in humans.]
SARS-CoV-2 spreads very easily from person to person, and that’s why it’s spreading so quickly. It spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), through respiratory droplets. When an infected person coughs or breathes out, those droplets are released. They travel a very short distance then drop down onto surfaces around the patient.
This explains why it is also possible for a person to get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes.
The incubation period (amount of time between exposure to the virus and development of symptoms of COVID-19) ranges from 1-14 days. It is most commonly 5-6 days, and in some rare cases has been reported to be longer than 14 days.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, fatigue and myalgia (achy muscles). Other less common symptoms include runny nose, headache, sore throat, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
The most worrisome outcome of this infection is pneumonia, which occurs if the virus infects the lungs. If that happens, it will typically occur around the end of the first week of infection to the beginning of the second week.
About 80% of people who are infected will have a mild-moderate illness that consists of fever and dry cough. This will last about 2 weeks, and then they will get better. About 14% will develop severe illness, and 6% will develop life-threatening illness that consists of respiratory failure, septic shock and organ failure.
This is an extremely open-ended question, and you have the opportunity to pursue many avenues of answer. As a general guide, we have outlined the likely long-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on the NHS. Again, you should try to avoid discussing financial implications in great detail, as assessors want to see your understanding of the NHS system in relation to healthcare and patient well-being.
The first long-term complication is in regards to the virus itself. At the current moment of writing, no successful vaccine exists for the virus; thus, it is likely that hospitals will have to employ long-term measures for continual treatment of patients with COVID-19. This may include dedicated wards for COVID-19 patients only, or entire isolated sections of the hospital building. In turn, this will continue the stress and strain on the NHS as discussed above. Logically, it is likely that much NHS funding will be directed towards research and experimentation for a potential vaccine, which could redirect funding from elsewhere in the NHS – this would have its own complications, but as it is a matter of financial and political discussion, focus should not be spent there in great depth. Should a vaccine be found and successfully approved, the following long-term implication is that the NHS will have to redirect efforts to distributing the vaccine to as much of the population as physically possible; this means that hospitals, GPs and other health professionals will be focused on administering the vaccine, beginning with high risk groups, to allow normality in society once more.
There is also a likely long-term implication on routine and other urgent care within the NHS outside of COVID-19. First and foremost, all ‘routine’ appointments and operations were cancelled for the foreseeable future; this means many patients are left in the middle of treatment or in pain as a result of treatment being cancelled. The doctors and nurses on these wards and clinics have been redeployed into Intensive Care Units (ICU) and COVID-19 wards, with their sole focus on helping deal with the demand on the NHS that COVID-19 has brought about. Once these clinics and operations are allowed to resume, these doctors and nurses are likely to still be required on the COVID-19 wards, meaning that there will be staff shortages on other wards. In addition, there is likely to be an extremely long waiting list and backlog of patients that will need to be attended to. There will be implications as to how patients will be seen – will it be “first come first serve” or will there be a system required for fairly organising patients to return?
Regardless of this, the face of routine medicine will most definitely change in the long-term too; there are likely to be far fewer face-to-face consultations, and any that do take place will be carried out under heavy PPE to avoid risks of transmission. This will raise long-term implications within the NHS that doctors and healthcare professionals may not be able to build the trust and rapport through normal communication, and may need to resort to other measures, such as videos, pictures and other diagrams – it will result in a big shift in the way medicine was traditionally undertaken.
On a wider view, the NHS will likely reduce their focus on “fringe” healthcare such as domiciliary visits to carehomes and those unable to leave their houses. This will result in this portion of the population having longer waiting times to be seen by a medical professional, which could in turn lead to further health complications for them. Again, on a wider viewpoint, the NHS may choose to nationalise the COVID-19 response in the long-term; sites such as The Nightingale Hospital, for example, may become the central COVID-19 hub for all of South-East England. The NHS may choose to refer all COVID-19 cases to one specific site in order to allow normal function of other hospitals to resume. This will undoubtedly have a financial impact, but it will also stretch the thin NHS staff across multiple sites, making their jobs harder and more stressful.
Latest Guidance from dental application organisations
The Dental Schools Council has succinctly summarised their view in regards to COVID-19 and dental applicants below:
Dental schools have recognised for some time that gaining useful work experience in healthcare is becoming increasingly difficult. During the Covid-19 pandemic, applicants to dental school will find it difficult, if not impossible, to gain work experience in dental practices and hospital departments. The Dental Schools Council is working to update our guidance on gaining relevant experience to study dentistry. We would like to reassure applicants that dental schools will take into account the change in circumstances caused by the pandemic when considering applications to study dentistry.
Some aspects of this advice will remain the same. We will continue to look for knowledge of the profession and investigation of the realities of being a dentist or dental care professional (DCP). Dental schools want to ensure that the correct candidates are selected so that they will have long and fulfilling careers within the profession. This is only possible if the applicant possesses the attributes of a healthcare professional. They should exhibit the values, attitudes and behaviours essential to being a dentist or DCP such as conscientiousness, effective communication and the ability to interact with a wide variety of people. For more information on the values healthcare professionals should possess, see the NHS Constitution.
There are a number of ways applicants can learn about what a career in dentistry will involve and develop the aforementioned values, attitudes and behaviours. In particular, you may wish to:
- Speak to dentists and other members of the dental team about what a career in dentistry involves
- Investigate studying dentistry through e-Learning resources offered by dental schools such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)
- Engage in paid or voluntary work which involves caring for and interacting with different people, or which develops the skills you will need as a dental professional
- Learn about the key issues in dentistry through the media and by reading more widely around the topic
Remember: it is what you learn about yourself, about other people and about how effective care is delivered and received that counts. What you did is only a small part of the story; it is how you have used the opportunities available to you that matters. Reflecting on the preparation you have done will provide vital insight into your potential future career, which you should draw upon throughout the application process.
School or college based assessment already has an important role in many GCSEs, AS and A levels and in extraordinary circumstances such as these, schools and colleges are best placed to judge the likely performance of their students at the end of the course.We have worked closely with the teaching profession to ensure that what we are asking is both appropriate and manageable, so that everyone can have confidence in the approach. I would like to take this opportunity to thank teachers and school leaders for making this process work for students during these very challenging times.We have published a message to students to reassure them that we, and exam boards, will do everything we can to make sure that, as far as possible, grades are fair and that they are not disadvantaged in their progress to sixth form, college, university, apprenticeships, training or work because of these unprecedented conditions.Exam boards will be contacting schools, colleges and other exam centres after Easter asking them to submit, by a deadline that will be no earlier than 29 May 2020.
I understand the uncertainty that many of you who are planning to go to university will feel at the moment, due to the impact of coronavirus on all aspects of your lives. I wanted to write to you and address as many of these issues as I can.
AdmissionsThe Government is working closely with universities to ensure prospective students can start and continue their studies. We want to minimise the impact of COVID-19 on your ability to progress to university and achieve your goals. This means ensuring that this year’s admissions cycle faces as little disruption as possible and Clearing goes ahead as normal, so you have every opportunity to make the decision that is right for you.
When I previously wrote, I told you we had asked universities to temporarily pause making changes to offers already made to prospective students: this ends today, Monday 4 May. The Government, the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), the Office for Students, and universities have been working together and today we have announced measures that will empower you to make more informed decisions about entry to higher education.
We have agreed with UCAS to bolster the Clearing process this year. Whether you have a conditional or unconditional offer, you will have the opportunity to change your choice once you have received your grades. This will be supported by a new service that can suggest alternative opportunities, based on your qualifications, your course interest, and other preferences, helping you filter the multitude of courses in a structured way.
In response to calls from universities, we have also temporarily limited the numbers of students each higher education provider can recruit, to ensure a fair, structured distribution across providers, and deter practices which might induce you to make a decision against your own interests. Providers will be able to recruit full-time, domestic students up to 5% above their forecasts in the next academic year, and the Government will also have the discretion to allocate an additional 10,000 places, with 5,000 ring-fenced for nursing, midwifery or allied health courses, to support the country’s vital public services.
I want to reassure you that, if you have accepted an offer, meet the conditions, and decide to take the place, nothing has changed.
On 16 April, Gavin Williamson, the Education Secretary, announced that A level results day will remain unchanged (13 August). We also recently set out the approaches to other Level 3 qualifications (see assessment of vocational and technical qualifications), and more information will be provided in the coming days and weeks. I am also pleased that UCAS has moved its forthcoming decision deadline to 18 June. This means you will have more time to make important decisions about your future, if you need it.I will continue to work to make sure there is a clear and supportive admissions system that allows you as prospective students to make the best choice for you.
AccommodationThose of you planning to begin your studies away from home may well have concerns about the impact the coronavirus outbreak could have on your ability to move into your term-time accommodation next academic year.
I am pleased to tell you that a number of universities and private accommodation providers are already considering how these impacts could be managed in accommodation contracts for the 2020/21 academic year, to give you confidence to make your plans.
I welcome the actions of many university and private accommodation providers in waiving and reducing rents this summer, along with their efforts to support and care for their students through this difficult period. This gives me confidence in their ability to help us all navigate the unprecedented circumstances that make the future so hard to predict.If you have already signed an accommodation contract for next year and, because of coronavirus, think it may no longer fit your requirements, you should talk directly to your housing provider. If you run into problems, you will be able to raise a complaint under one of the accommodation codes of practice, as long as your provider is a code member: The Student Accommodation Code, Unipol, and National Residential Landlords Association.While I am confident that consumer protections are in place to help with your plans to move into halls or private housing next academic year, it is still important that you carefully read your accommodation contract before putting pen to paper.
Means Tested Maintenance LoansMany of you will have applied for a Maintenance Loan for the coming academic year, 2020/21, and some of your families will have seen their income reduced in recent times. If you have been awarded the maximum Maintenance Loan, you do not need to do anything, as you will receive the maximum level of support as planned. If you have applied for support, and have been awarded a lower amount than the maximum, and believe your household income for the current tax year (2020/21) will drop by at least 15% compared to the household income you provided when you were initially assessed, Student Finance England may be able to help. Further guidance on eligibility and how to apply is available online.
Mental health supportI understand some of you may be feeling uncertain and anxious, and it is vital that you can access the mental health support you need. I have told higher education providers that this should be a priority at this time, and many are strengthening their existing mental health services and adapting how they are delivered, so it doesn’t have to be face-to-face. Once you start your studies, I would encourage you to stay in touch with your provider’s student support and welfare teams, as these services are likely to be an important source of support. As well as speaking to your university, any student who is struggling can access online resources from Public Health England, along with online support from the NHS and the mental health charity, Mind.
ConclusionFinally, I was glad to be able to answer lots of questions that are on your minds during the recent UCAS Facebook Live event. It was great to hear your views directly and understand what the most important issues for you are, so I can help to address them. I am looking forward to taking part in another UCAS Facebook Live on 5 May, so if you have questions about this letter or any other issues, please put them forward and tune in.I remain committed to helping you, as prospective students, to move on to the next exciting phase of your life.
Latest Dental Application Updates
Whilst it is acknowledged that gaining work experience will be increasingly difficult amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Dental Schools Council are keen to press the fact that they are looking for:
…knowledge of the profession and investigation of the realities of being a dentist or dental care professional (DCP). Dental schools want to ensure that the correct candidates are selected so that they will have long and fulfilling careers within the profession. This is only possible if the applicant possesses the attributes of a healthcare professional. They should exhibit the values, attitudes and behaviours essential to being a dentist or DCP such as conscientiousness, effective communication and the ability to interact with a wide variety of people.
Dental Universities are working alongside the government to ensure a smooth and fair system for the next application cycle. They will try to keep the applications are similar to the current system as possible, but acknowledge that they may need to bring entry requirements such as A-level grades down.
Universities have accepted that the format of interviews may need to change in future. They will consider the use of online/virtual interviews if necessary
It is highly likely that all 2020 Open Days will be cancelled.
Universities are considering virtual online tours that will give applicants an insight into the university without physically being present.