17 Apr Life as a Trainee Dental Nurse in Mansfield
Hi, I’m Soraya.
Many of you might be thinking who are you? I’ve not seen you before; so let me start by introducing myself…
I’m the new trainee dental nurse at Thackeray’s. At 24 I’m a little older than most apprentices.
Starting over and learning a completely new career was never going to be easy, especially after 8 years in the working world and the added responsibility of running a home. However I seem to have landed on my feet here at Thackeray’s , surrounded by a team of kind, caring and supportive colleagues who are always happy to help. To name a few, you’ve got Jen, our lead nurse, Jen is like a fountain of knowledge for all things dental and I know I can go to her with any question and come back with an answer. Simon, the man who needs no introduction, spending the day with Simon often means I get a running commentary, what we’re going to do, why we’ve got to do it, what it looks like, which might I say is very useful if you’ve got to write an essay on it next week. I’ve also got the added benefit of Jess, who is ahead of me and soon to complete her apprenticeship, brilliant for a bit of insider knowledge on what to expect in my upcoming exams. Working and learning at Thackeray’s, I basically have 15 mentors supporting me through my course.
For those of you that are reading this because it’s a career path you’re thinking of following, well I would like to tell you that dental nursing is not a glamorous job. As a dental nurse you have many responsibilities, not just the ones you see them doing when you go to the dentist. You run the risk of being spat on (accidentally of course), treatments running in to your lunch break or making you late going home, you might have to deal with mouths that look like this:
If you’re the type of person who likes to have manicured hands, you might be able to manage that, over the Christmas break of course and your hands will always be dry no matter how many times you apply cream. As a dental nurse you’ll probably even find the simple task of telling your left from your right becomes more difficult. Once qualified you have to register with the General Dental Council and pay an annual retention fee, you’ll have to complete 50 hours worth of CPD, formally 150, which means taking post qualification courses, attending conferences and reading plenty of dentistry articles over each 5 year cycle.
On the other hand if you have the patience, determination and the right attitude to become a dental nurse it can be so rewarding. Every day is a school day (quite literally for me) and you’ll always face new and interesting challenges and you can’t beat that feeling when you’ve genuinely helped someone, whether it’s in overcoming their fear of the dentist or leaving with a lovely set of pearly whites.
As a trainee my week involves me spending Monday to Thursday in practice and my Fridays are spent at the Chambers Of Commerce College, where I learn the theory side to my new career. Many of my evenings after work are spent completing my assignments or writing a reflective account of a particular treatment I have done that day. Occasionally my college tutor, Anna, will come to visit me, observing me in practice and writing up a witness statement which will be added to my portfolio, a collection of evidence used to show I am competent before I can qualify; I also have Nina my assessor, who comes to review me every three months, checking that I am on target and have a clear development plan for the next three months.
In conclusion, making the decision to train as a dental nurse was one of the biggest decisions I have ever made.
Would I do it again?
If you wish to come in and meet the team at Thackeray Dental Care in Mansfield, simply give us a call on 01623 629359.