If you’re thinking about a career in dental nursing, there are a number of pathways to consider. From college courses to tailored apprenticeships, each route is designed to take you from novice to professional in just a couple of years. One route, particularly popular with trainees, are apprenticeships which enable students to learn while they earn.
A major plus to learning while you’re on the job is the added experience you’ll gain. Daily practice can be unpredictable with unusual cases or emergency appointments. Traditional courses will not be able to prepare you for that kind of uncertainty which is why doing the job itself is the best possible way to learn. On top of that, you have the opportunity to be remunerated for your time so that you don’t have to forfeit an education because of money. We take a look at the top 5 reasons why you should take that first step to securing your apprenticeship today.
1. Gain valuable skills and experience
This is an obvious one but having real-world experience is invaluable to any employer. Apprenticeships start you off in practice from day one, learning from peers and seeing real practice. Wherever you choose to take your career, seeing daily practice will help give you a better idea of what to expect and enable you to build solid foundations in your understanding so you can take your career in the right direction.
2. Learning while earning
What student doesn’t want to earn while they learn? Student life can be frustrating financially, especially when you’re relying on 50p packets of instant noodles to make your loan last the month. If you’re undertaking an apprenticeship, you’ll be actively paid for your time in practice. Finding work as a full-time student can be frustrating as you balance studies with a part-time job, but apprenticeships mean you are not only paid, but you are earning money in a job that is directly related to your course which aids your learning.
3. Get a professional qualification
When you do a dental nursing apprenticeship, you set your path to become a competent and qualified dental nurse. Not only that, but you also obtain the most recent and up-to-date knowledge and skills needed in dental nursing by practicing the
latest dental treatments. This real-life experience shows an employer that you’re experienced and ready to work.
4. Overtake graduates
Apprenticeships are incredibly valuable both to students and their employers and by immersing yourself into a working environment, you will be to apply what you’ve learnt almost immediately. Traditional graduates straight out of university tend to lack basic skills required in the workplace, but employers rarely find the same problems apply to those finishing an apprenticeship. Apprenticeships are invaluable to the profession and ensure that competent dental nurses emerge from the other side of their training, not just individuals who can recall facts but not deal with patients.
5. Network with employers
Since you will be earning and learning in a real work environment, you’ll be making connections with your employer and professionals both inside and outside of practice. Having these connections gives you a major advantage over new graduates because you can already easily demonstrate to employers how capable you are. It isn’t uncommon for practices offering these apprenticeships to offer employment, or recommend you to a colleague, once you qualify, so having these connections will put you at a major advantage.
Apprenticeships can be found through the government database, or alternatively, you can speak to your local practice about opportunities. Minimum requirements are often a pass in English and maths GCSEs. Prior experience isn’t always necessary and as long as you can demonstrate that you are hard working and dedicated, then you are already in a great position to apply. Start your dental nursing journey today and see where it takes you.