My career in dentistry began in 2001 when I became a trainee dental nurse. Whilst working in professional practice I have gained my NEBDN qualifications in dental nursing, radiography and a dental care coordination diploma. My passion for education and my profession has continued throughout this period, culminating in my decision to undertake a degree.
Through recording my experiences for Dental Nurse Network, I hope to inspire other dental care professionals (DCPs) to further their education and achieve all they can.
I feel it is important that DCPs are aware that anything is possible and to persevere with their ambitions as I have.
I have been in my career for 11 years but I really came to a turning point working at a practice called New Smile Dental Care in Leeds. While I was there I was lucky enough to meet a dentist called Simon Agabeg. While working for Simon, I was able to gain qualifications and valuable experience working as a senior dental nurse. Nevertheless, the important part of working at that practice was the support and guidance from other colleagues that truly inspired me to move forward. Therefore in 2009, I decided I wanted to embark on a degree programme.
In 2012 I was awarded a 2:1 honours degree – one of only three dental degrees specific for dental nurses in the UK. Maggie Nash and Trudy Dawson are the other two dental nurses in the UK who hold this specific dental nurse degree. The course also catered for other DCP professions who wanted to earn a degree qualification in the area of dentistry. On this course, I was able to be inspired and guided by another colleague, Debbie Reed, who at the time was the course leader.
I have been very lucky to mix with these two supportive and inspiring individuals, who have no doubt played a key role in my development. All dental nurses should learn to support and guide each other and without working as a team in this way, developing is difficult.
Currently I work at Leeds University training undergraduate dental students and I’m pleased to say I start my postgraduate certificate at master’s level in Clinical Education this September. I hope to one day conduct research; however, I realise this is a big goal but not impossible and I will do all I can to strive towards it.