If you are wondering why you should become and apprentice and what it involves, read Chloe Sparshot inspirational interview:
Q: Explain your role, key duties and responsibilities within your workplace
A: I am a dental nurse based at two sister practices. My duties include: sterilising instruments and ensuring that all materials used are clean and safe. I assist in treating patients, organising appointments, managing external referrals, laboratory work and handling patients queries.
Upon finishing my AS levels, I was 17 years old and was unsure of what career I wanted to pursue. I always wanted to enter health care sector and heard of the dental nurse apprenticeship. I was drawn to this due to the many career possibilities and different work settings. I enquired at my local dental practice and from the principal dentist took me on and has supported me throughout my course.
The dental team that I work with have extensive knowledge of dentistry sector and are both trainees and qualified professionals. The team is made up of numerous dentists, 3 hygienists, 3 oral surgeons, 2 implantologists, 1 endodontist, 1 periodontist, 1 anaesthetist and 20 nurses. Within this nurses team, I act as a team leader, as I ensure tasks are completed and am asked to delegate tasks. Following my apprenticeship, I plan to apply for a place at one of the teaching hospitals to study Hygiene and Therapy.
Q:Can you explain what you think the contribution is that you have made to your employer.
A: Throughout my 19 months as an apprentice, I believe I have shown exceptional efforts and contributions within my work place.I have received very positive feedback through the NHS friends and Family test via patients, who have praised me for my hard work and my determination to make patients feel comfortable. I have a strong relationship with the patients of the practice and can often be recognised by name by some of them and have been requested to be present in their appointments by both patients and the dentist to make the appointment feel more comfortable and familiar.
The past two appraisals I have had with my employer I have been praised for my initiate to detail. This includes examples such as being able to deal with patient enquiries regarding referrals and treatments before disturbing the dentist. I will personally phone referral service providers myself, I will read through patients notes and call relevant parties as well as right any correspondence letter that I can to assist the clinician and lower their work load. This shows a strong, initiative work ethic which reflects on the practice and the people who work within it.
Q: How have you benefited from your apprenticeship?
A: Becoming an apprentice has benefited me in so many ways. First and foremost, it has taught me how toapply my skills and personality in the world of work. I have developed an understanding of my strengths and weaknesses and the ways in which these can support me and my colleges work. I have learnt valuable life skills such as basic accountancy, administrative abilities, a wide range of clinical skills, the importance of patient confidentiality. However, something I feel that is far greater to me is the affect that the apprenticeship has had on my confidence.
When I was 15 years old, I suffered from clinical depression and had a mental break down and this greatly affected my studies. I left school without A levels and felt that I had no career path to follow as a result. Becoming an apprentice showed me that there are other ways to make a career for myself, and gave me the confidence I needed to pursue the career in Hygiene and Therapy, which is what I would like to study next.
I have developed social skills that I lacked throughout my illness, which means I now have a much better understanding of how to build professional and friendly relationships with the people around me. Having an apprenticeship has given me a purpose, it is something that I am able to say I have worked extremely hard to fulfil and I have put my all in to.
One of my greatest achievements to date is the fact that am still dealing with a mental illness, I am working full time, completing a college course (in a shortened amount of time) and always putting every bit of effort in to my work reflects my hard motivation and determination.
For more information on how to become a Dental Apprentice click here