Real-life story - Emma Nelson
After deciding to go back to work with a young family, Emma found that becoming a dental nurse was the right choice for her. She was able to work part-time and found that she could also progress at work alongside this.
How I got into the role
I never planned to be a dental nurse. I was just looking for a job, but I soon started to enjoy the work.
Within a few months I decided to do a course leading to my National Examining Board for Dental Nurses National Certificate. My dentist paid for this and helped me in other ways such as testing me while I worked.
I passed the exam, then worked for two more years to become qualified. I’m keen to carry on training. I recently passed exams on dental radiography and dental sedation nursing. I’d like to study oral health education and practice management in the future. I’m also interested in teaching dental nurses, so that’s another route I could take.
What I do
I work part time, three days a week, which gives me time to look after my young family. It is a busy job, with a lot of contact with patients. On a typical day I’ll start off by getting out the notes for all the patients due that day, then check the surgery to make sure everything’s in order. Throughout the day I’m likely to be spending time supporting the dentist with treatments and working on reception.
The best bits and challenges
I’d say to anyone interested in dental nursing that it’s not an easy job – and it’s not for the squeamish – but it is very rewarding, especially if you like working with people. The flexibility has meant I could manage my work and family life.