Time for a check-up

Training for qualified dental employees updated

The work carried out by qualified dental employees (Zahnmedizinischen Fachangestellten, ZFA) is very extensive. It ranges from assisting in the areas of disease prevention and dental healthcare, to looking after individual patients and using technical dental instruments and digital equipment through to commercial work processes. The impacts of advancing digitalisation have also been felt in dental practices and are increasingly being seen in X-rays, the preparation of impressions, in work processes and when charging for services.

On behalf of the Federal Government, the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) has therefore worked together with the relevant federal ministries, social partners and experts from company practice to update the training for qualified dental employees. Additional new content has also been added to the new training regulation in order to ensure and further improve individual patient care. Comprehensive knowledge is required to be able to react to an individual's situation and respond to the questions and fears of the patient. This includes how to take into account the psychosocial and somatic bases of patient behaviour, communication methods, patient motivation, as well as how to resolve conflict situations.

The new training regulation attaches particular importance to "Implementing hygiene measures and preparing medical products". Qualified dental employees implement hygiene measures for diagnostic and therapeutic dental procedures and in doing so ensure the necessary patient safety. Based on a risk assessment and categorisation of medical products, they carry out procedures to prepare medical products and can then release these to be used again. The preparation and release of medical products is also incorporated within the first part of the "extended final examination".

Supporting and assisting in establishing a patient's medical history and in dental treatments, explaining patient care before and after examinations and explaining the examinations themselves are some of the elements which remain part of the training. This also includes taking x-rays, assisting in quality assurance measures, the organisation and administration of the practice as well as charging for services provided.

Vocational education and training as a qualified dental employee is currently one of the most popular dual training occupations in Germany with more than 13,000 new training contracts annually. Many women in particular opt for this career path. A range of different further training offers are available following the training, for example working as an assistant in the dental field, in practice administration, charging for services or in quality management. Qualified dental employees can also complete continuing education to become a "certified senior clerk in health and social services".

The training regulations for qualified dental employees and the framework curriculum developed by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) for the school-based part of the dual training enter into force on 1 August 2022.

Source: bibb.de (press release by the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training), revised by iMOVE, June 2022