The interest in becoming a dental nurse has been gaining momentum in recent years, according to Google trends. Most of the time curiosity, however, has been mixed with confusion when it comes down to what exactly a trainee nurse job offers. We decided to reveal ten secrets of a trainee dental nurses by, of course, interviewing a dental nurse in training. Her name is Sophie and she is a happy trainee in a mixed dental practice in East Sussex.
- Hello, Sophie. Thank you for taking time to talk to us about trainee dental nursing. What made you want to become a dental nurse?
(she starts laughing)
- Hiya! Well, I really wanted to have weekends off! I used to work in a pub previously and the working hours were unsocial. I also wanted to do something which would allow me to develop in the future. That's how I ended up choosing the dental nurse job.
- Switching careers is usually not easy. How did you manage to write your CV with no previous experience in the field of nursing?
- I think I researched some strategies on Google at that time. A bit of hit-and-miss, really. I stated qualities and achievements which I thought may be relevant to the nursing position.
- Right. Do you remember how you found the job?
- To be honest, I can't remember. Must have been a Google search for nursing jobs in the area.
- What do you like about being a trainee?
- I like learning new medical facts and applying them to help people with different dental problems. I enjoy continuous learning and doing something different each time. In a way, I like that we do what qualified nurses do.
- Great. What do you dislike about being a nurse?
- Not much that I dislike, really. Yes, there are always little things during my day-to-day responsibilities but it's a nice job to be in. You're left to it and there's lots of freedom to do things your way.
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- How do you get certified and who arranges your education?
- It's an on-line course. For me it was done by the dental practice. They pay for the course and then deduct it from my wages, which is handy. I could have arranged the course myself but it's more costly that way.
- How long does it take to complete the training course and what is your main reading material?
- I worked for about 9 months before starting the course. It takes nearly a year to complete the coursework. Main reading materials for me are Levison's textbook, Nurses Q&A book and the on-line lessons as part of the course.
- What is on the final test?
- Everything! From the heart to all the nerves in the face. You definitely have to know more than you think you do! I think it helps, though, especially if I end up doing specialist nursing in the future.
- What would you advise others who consider becoming a dental nurse?
- I would advise them to spend a few days in a dental practice, even work on reception, before getting on the course, just to make sure it's the thing for them. You don't want to start the course and pay all that money to find that you're not interested in it.
- Are you considering to progress in your career in the future?
- I've had lots of ideas. I keep changing my mind! I've been thinking of hygienist training or other nursing courses like dental implant surgery nursing. There's so much you can do! Just get the coursework out of the way first!
- Great! Thanks for your time, Sophie!
- You're welcome!