The next step

tiff gradIt’s been a while since I last posted a blog update – it’s been a crazy few months to say the least. But …

That’s it! I’m finished! Two years of hard work and dedication have resulted in this. I have passed the Oral Health Science course at the University of Essex, and I am now a qualified dental hygienist! I won’t lie and say the process has been easy – far from it. But what I can say is this – it has been worth every single second, every single tear shed from stress and every single laugh from happiness. It does, however, raise the question … what now?

So, following completion of university comes the wait for my GDC (General Dental Council) registration, because without this I can’t work in practice as a dental hygienist. Once the results of the exams have been accepted by the external examiner, these will be sent to the GDC to finalise my application and add the title ‘dental hygienist’ onto my registration. When this comes through, I can then obtain my indemnity insurance, which is a necessity when working as a practitioner. Then there comes buying scrubs, buying shoes, buying loupes … all the good stuff – and, obviously, I plan to make it all match too! 

I have managed to secure a couple of jobs close to the area I live, which is both exciting and scary at the same time. Going into practice without the support of university to fall back on is daunting, but the last two years have pushed me to be the best I can be, and I feel confident that I will be able to push through. It also helps that I love treating patients, and all the practices are all extremely supportive. I always want to further my learning and skillset, so I will also be looking into courses for tooth-whitening, facial aesthetics and possibly teaching dental nursing post-qualification courses – so watch this space! I will continue to keep you updated with blog posts so that I can hopefully motivate and push those who are looking at moving further up the ladder in their career. I’ll also make sure I stay up to date with the latest discoveries and research and keep you all in the loop about these. 

In the meantime, I will be continuing to work as a dental nurse until my start date as a dental hygienist in October. I will certainly miss dental nursing, as it has given me the drive, courage and love for dentistry that I needed to push me through the course and to reach further than I thought I could. I will always be grateful to all the dentists I’ve worked with for educating me and showing me how great being involved in the dental industry really can be. 

Overall, it has been an eye-opening two years at university, and I have come out the other side a knowledgeable and driven practitioner who will do what it takes to provide the best care possible for patients. 

So, goodbye dental nurse Tiff … hello dental hygienist Tiff!

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