Life As A Dental Student
When did you start becoming interested in dentistry and what about it interested you?
I originally started my career within dentistry as a trainee Dental Nurse 8 years ago, but as time went on I wanted to become more hands-on within the treatment process, carrying out restorations myself. This spurred me on to study Dental Hygiene and Dental Therapy at the University of Portsmouth.
What do you enjoy most about it?
I love the patient interaction, really listening to them, which enables me to tailor my advice more effectively to their requirements.
What has been the most challenging thing about studying?
I would say the limited income whilst studying is difficult.
How do you manage studying full time and working part-time?
I think prioritising and time management are key. To get my uni entry grades I studied 5 nights a week whilst working full time, for 3 years. When you want something, determination gets you through.
I now get up at 5am so I can do 3 hours of studying every morning before I drive to university or work, this way I have the evenings free to relax or socialise. It’s hard, but nothing you want comes easy.
What would a lot of people not know about studying dental?
You have to learn about every aspect of the human body in detail and the physics behind radiography, the bigger picture rather than just head and neck. I didn’t realise this before I started, its full on.
What advice or tips would you give to anyone looking to study dental? Or do you have any study/time management tips for current dental students?
To get your essays finished early to leave you lots of time just to revise for the exams. It’s all about time management and not leaving everything to the last minute.
Once a traditionally male dominated industry, how do you feel about entering the industry now? Do you feel like there is already a shift happening?
I feel the industry has become very welcoming to all genders. Although, I have unfortunately experienced many comments outside of dentistry questioning my physical appearance and hair colour with my career choice.
What do you usually look for in dental scrubs? And how important is having a good uniform for your job?
I look for a flattering fit, whilst also being very comfortable (as wearing them all day). My Jaanuu scrubs tick both these boxes, I’ve had lots of compliments.
I look for a flattering fit, whilst also being very comfortable (as wearing them all day).
What are your plans for next year once you have completed your degree?
I plan to complete a 1 year MRes in Homeless Oral health before continuing on to study for a PhD in the some topic. It’s important to always be striving to improve yourself and make a change in other people’s lives if you have the opportunity.
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