Certificate in Dental Nursing for Patients with Special Needs (Level 4)

Certificate in Dental Nursing for Patients with Special Needs

Course title:                     Dental Nursing for Patients with Special Needs

This course is aimed at dental nurses who work with patients with special needs or require special considerations to facilitate their treatment and wish to improve their knowledge and understanding of this patient group.

Awarded by:                    Delta Awards

Structure:                         The course is delivered by way of six modules. All modules are mandatory and  must be passed. Resources include written course material and scheduled one to one tutorials with the course tutor if required.

Grading:                            Pass or fail

Pre-requisites:                Candidates must hold GDC registration and a recognised Dental Nurse qualification. Candidates must work in an environment which supports the treatment provision for special care patients.

Assessment:                    This course is assessed by:

        • Workplace Portfolio of Evidence which includes 10 patient case reports and a research assignment. This forms 50% of the final grade
        • Final examination – a 90 minute written exam on all subjects covered and forms 50% of the overall grade

Candidates must achieve a pass in all assessments to gain the certificate.

Resit Arrangements:      Candidates can receive a small course extension to amend or change any information in the case studies or essay submissions.

                                           Candidates get two attempts at the online examination. The examination is an “Open Question” written format.

Practical Component:    None

Guided Learning Hours: This programme is 300 Guided Learning Hours (GLH)

Course length:                 9 – 12 months

Credits:                             This course attracts 30 credits


 Course content:

Module 1 Content 

Conditions Affecting the Body System


Multiple Sclerosis

Muscular Dystrophy


Rheumatoid Arthritis

Spinal Cord Injury

Brain Injury

 Module 2 Content


Mental Health and Brain Disorders


Bipolar Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder



Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Module 3 Content

 General Health Conditions

 Cardiovascular conditions

Respiratory disorders



Module 4 Content

 Cancer Care

 Mouth cancer

Head and neck cancers

Cancer patients and oral health



Module 5 Content

 The Paediatric Patient


Dyslexia and dyspraxia

Learning difficulties

Down Syndrome


Cerebral Palsy

Spina bifida


Module 6 Content

Additional Treatment Requirements


Treatment under General Anaesthesia

Treatment under sedation

Domiciliary care

Carers and care facilities


 Module 1 Assessment


Portfolio of evidence

Final examination








Module 2 Assessment



Portfolio of evidence

Final Examination









Module 3 Assessment



Portfolio of evidence

Final examination


  Module 4 Assessment

 Portfolio of evidence

Research assignment

Final examination


  Module 5 Assessment

 Portfolio of evidence

Research Assignment

Final examination







Module 6 Assessment


Portfolio of evidence

Research assignment

Final examination









Case Reports – The candidate is required to complete 10 case reports which involve their direct involvement with the treatment of special care patients. The case reports are assessed collectively and contribute to 50% of the final grade. All case studies must include:

  • Details of the treatment undertaken
  • The role of the dental nurse during the treatment
  • A critical evaluation of the appointment(s) including identification of strengths, areas of good practice and areas of improvement
  • Evidence of reading and research and supporting literature should be included to justify treatment management decisions


Research Assignments

The candidate is required to complete an additional research assignment as part of the portfolio of evidence. This is assessed alongside the case reports to contribute toward 50% of the overall grade.


Written Exam

Candidates will be required to sit a final written exam of 90 minutes duration. The examination is provided online with full remote invigilation, and candidates will be required to undertake this under strict examination conditions. The exam is an Open Question format where the candidate will be given copies of potential questions in advance to allow preparation. The exam contributes to 50% of the overall grade.