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Dental Nursing: Planning Your Next Steps

Dental Nursing is a diverse role that can allow you to specialise in a number of areas. Without nurses, practices would cease to function as they help to manage so many essential procedures in the surgery. From radiography to orthodontics, nurses can specialise in an area of their choosing and maintain their day job by supplementing their studies with ongoing experience within a practice.

Specialising

Once registered as a dental nurse, you have the option to boost your skill set and specialise in many areas. Whether you’re interested in radiography, orthodontics or dental hygiene, there are courses to supplement your existing work and help you move closer towards your goal.
Learning is flexible and additional courses can allow you to work alongside your studies. Some practices also support their staff by funding courses to improve their skill set.
As more new technology emerges, dental teams will be pushing to keep up with the latest procedures and methods. Having new skills makes you an attractive candidate to employers and also boosts your earning potential.

Photo by Peter Kasprzyk on Unsplash

Changing Location

You love your job but you’re ready for the next challenge. We’ve all been there and it’s completely normal to want to do something new. Maybe you fancy a move to hospital work after working in private practice or maybe you’re interested in joining the army. Whatever you decide, there are plenty of opportunities out there to consider. Dental nurses aren’t just needed in high street surgeries, nurses are needed almost anywhere where there are teeth. Think prisons, care homes, schools and even charities conducting essential care abroad. Your dental nursing qualification can take you anywhere in the world.

Qualifications

Entry requirements vary but in order to become a dental nurse, you must either complete a level 3 or 4 diploma in dental nursing either as an apprentice or through a course at a college/University. To get on one of these courses, you must have at least 2 GCSEs at grade C or equivalent. For degree level courses, you’ll need 3 A-levels or an equivalent to apply.
Once you’ve become a registered nurse, the learning doesn’t have to stop there. There are lots of extra training opportunities to further your career. Aside from working towards roles in therapy
and hygienist work, you can also boost your skills in learning to apply fluoride varnish and making dental impressions.

Complete Change

It’s not uncommon to see dental nurses moving on into other areas of healthcare. Whether that’s retraining to become a dentist or moving into an entirely different healthcare profession, dental nursing gives you a great grounding and provides you with the transferable skills you need to take on future roles.
If you stay within dental practice, you might even consider changing roles within the profession. There are opportunities for nurses to progress into practice managers and team leaders after years of experience. Obtaining your dental nursing diploma is only the beginning of your journey. There are so many options and pathways out there for nurses looking to further their career.

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