Jekaterina (Kate) Deminceva, tells her heart warming story of how she came to England, became a factory worker as she spoke no English and has now completed her Dental Nurse Apprenticeship through Tempdent and works as a qualified Dental Nurse at Mydentist in Norfolk.
Q: What made you decide to do a Dental Nurse apprenticeship?
When I lived in Latvia, I was really interested in medicine, so I started studying General Nursing. Although I did well in my course, due my countries economic situation, I had to give up my studies and come and live in England. Unfortunately, I could not speak any English and the only job I could find was working in a factory. I spent 5 years working in a factory, but I was extremely unhappy. One of the girls I met at the factory, was also from Latvia, suggested that I learn English in order to get a better job. She also told me about the apprenticeship in Dental Nursing. Although I did not know what this was, I researched this and was supported by my partner to pursue this as a new career. I created a CV and covering letter and sent it off to a number of practices. After 6 months, I was contacted by Mydentist, a high street practice and went for an interview and got the job.
Q: What made you choose Tempdent as your training provider?
I was looking at many providers and what type of courses they offered and their exams. I found that Tempdent would be the best option for me. As English is my second language and I needed to improve my skills, this is something they offered this as part of their course. I also had access to an online study platform, where I could see all my topics, homework, mock exams, webinars etc. By doing my homework every day, I was not only able to improve my language’s skills, but also able to improve my course work, which helped me prepare for my exams.
Q: What was the most challenging part of your training?
The most challenging part was my English, Level 2 exams. My first exam, I failed but I felt it that I was not ready. In order to improve my English, my assessor from Tempdent advised me to come to London weekly to participate in face to face English classes in order to improve my skills. So, thanks to these courses and the amazing support I got from my tutor, I managed to pass all parts of English exams.
Q: What part of training did you enjoy the most?
I enjoyed doing projects the most as I found them really interesting. You are given a specific topic and have to do research on it. My most exciting topic was about Orthodontics. I did this project for 2 weeks and I was the biggest project, that I did. I was surprised, how much information you can find about one topic, and I wondered how I was going to complete it. After compiling a draft report with links to websites and photographs, I was able to submit my project first time around to my assessor.
Q: Did you get a lot of support from your practice?
Yes, my practice was very supportive, they allowed me to do a lot of the course work at the practice as I have a little daughter and it is very difficult to do my course work at home. When I was confused or had questions on specific topics, everyone at the practice helped me.
When I started at the practice, I was really scared and never spoke to anyone as I was so worried about my English. But the Head Nurse at the practice said to me: “Kate, you have to start speaking, as the more you speak and listen, the more you will improve.” From then onwards, I tried to speak a little bit and with the time, I opened up more and more and every day became easier to be at work.
Q: What have you achieved and what skills have you learn whilst being an apprentice?
I have now completed all my course work and passed all exams, I am just waiting for my Diploma. I have also achieved Level 2 in English and Maths. I am really happy working as a Dental Nurse and being a part of a dental team. I like to help patients and am happy to see their smile after any treatments. Also, I do not have any more problems with communication. I can talk with anybody and about anything. I am not scared anymore and enjoy communicating with my patients and colleagues.
Q: What are you planning to do in your professional future?
At the moment I am going to take a break. The last 18 months has been really difficult for me: I remember a time, when I wanted to quit my course and leave my job, because I could not understand my course work. My first set of home work was done really badly, and my assessor sent it to me back many times. I failed my first English exams and sometimes I could not understand people.
However now I have got through this, in the future, I want to try another course, perhaps Sedation. I am really interested in surgical treatments, but in my current practice we have just general treatments, so I may look at applying for a relevant course in surgical treatments and work at another Mydentist practice that uses these treatments to get experience.
Q: Where are you currently working?
Mydentist in King Lynn, Norfolk
Jekaterina assessor, Teresa Vrhovski is very proud of her and has the following to say:
“When Jekaterina started the course in April 2016, she was working as a Trainee Dental Nurse in Kings Lynn. Originally from Latvia, English was her second language and she needed to achieve a Level 2 in order to complete the Dental Nursing qualification. I have been Jekaterina’s Assessor throughout the course and have watched her grow, both in confidence and academically. She has faced many challenges, but worked incredibly hard and has achieved so much during her learning journey with Tempdent. She has told me that there were times that she didn’t think she would be able to complete the course, but with expert tuition and guidance Jekateriana has succeeded. I am so very proud of her achievements and wish her the very best with her future career!”
To find out more about doing an apprenticeship in Dental Nursing click here