The pursue a career in dental hygiene and therapy

The mouth is the first point of contact in any conversation, in my role as a dental nurse, I was able to observe the emotional impacts that improper oral health can cause for patients, ranging from physical insecurity to demotivation in diet and correct oral hygiene. I want to pursue a career in dental hygiene and therapy and have direct patient interaction, an increase in responsibility and an opportunity to educate people on the importance of oral health.

Working professionally in both private and National Health Service practices for almost three years, highlighted the importance between members of a dental team in delivering the highest standard of dental care to improve quality of lives. In my position, I assisted the dental therapist with different procedures such as extractions on deciduous teeth and restorations while the hygienist focused on preventive measures, the monitoring of the gingival health and working with a dentist to devise treatment plans. During my experience, I observed different fields ranging from oral surgery, general and paediatric dentistry. I enjoyed working with NHS out-of-hours services providing urgent medical help and advice. This required specific set skills essential in the short-term quick fix to help get people out of pain. I realised how important dental health is and that the mouth affects our day-to-day functions through speech, sleeping and eating. I am also aware that every patient is unique and the practitioner must use their initiative in different situations, for example when faced with a particularly nervous individual. This is important as many patients avoid dental visits so establishing a positive rapport and conversation will likely lead to proactive procedures whilst preventing the reoccurrence of lifetime treatments. 

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I studied an access course in Medicine and Medical Biosciences to further my knowledge of science. The intensive nature of this course allowed me to refine my study techniques, further developing effective time-management skills to meet strict deadlines. In order to keep up to date with recent discoveries, I regularly read British Dental Journals. I read an interesting article on a study which, explored the incidence of caries in primary school children correlating to their eating habits. Surprisingly, I noticed this whilst treating children, teenagers and the elderly, and realised the importance of maintaining a healthy diet is essential for good teeth. My observations also showed me challenges presented and the importance of qualities such as patience, compassion, and empathy in this career. To gain a deeper insight into the career of dental hygiene and therapy, I am currently studying an NEBDN in Oral Health Education teaching how to successfully communicate with patients of all ages and backgrounds; a quality I believe is mirrored in this career. 

I am confident that I have the personality and attributes required to succeed at university. In the school’s debating team, I learnt presentation and teamwork skills. Constructing and presenting a structured argument gave me a sense of accomplishment. Training with the youth cadet corps as a camp leader enabled me to foster strong leadership abilities. These were further developed in my position of student representative were I motivated other students and raised issues and concerns to the staff. Furthermore, having studied in Malaysia from age 11-17, I learnt to adjust to new environments quickly and live independently. To balance a healthy life and work, I play badminton and squash to keep fit and reduce stress, while painting, sewing, and knitting allows me to relax and enhance my manual dexterity skills. 

My experiences to date in the dental field combined with my life experiences and self-directed learning makes me a strong candidate. I am aware of the commitment, dedication and challenging content needed to complete the course. If given the opportunity, I will prove a model student and hope to positively contribute to campus life.