Due to the cancellation of in-person instruction over the last several months, students have been thrust into an entirely new online learning environment without external exams. This has made the application process for Dental School even more daunting.
The most important aspect of your application as a whole is how you illustrate your abilities and how they apply to the position of dentist. “How am I supposed to do this if I can’t complete work experience,” you may be wondering.
This article will go through everything you can do to get the information you need to decide if dentistry is the correct field for you. This will show universities how you maximized your time during these extraordinary periods, even without the regular general dentistry practice experience that was necessary.
1. Enrolling in the University of Sheffield’s Discover Dentistry e-course is highly recommended since it provides an excellent overview of dentistry: Discover dentistry at https://www.futurelearn.com/courses.
2. Are you unsure about dentistry and would want to investigate medicine to make sure which is best for you? For a virtual job experience, try Brighton and Sussex Medical School as well! Check to see whether the medical or dentistry fields are more appealing to you: Thinkific.com/bsmsoutreach/courses/VWE
3. To learn more about the realities of dentistry, send an email to our dentists and dental students. To get a true understanding of the dentistry sector, we also invite you to speak with other dental team members, such as nurses, hygienists, and dental lab technicians, and ask them questions about their work. You may accomplish this by calling your neighborhood dentist office, or you can contact us and we’ll see what we can do and if you have any questions!
4. Don’t forget to join our webinars on this topic!
5. Prepare your letters requesting work experience; you may see a sample placement request here.
6. Keep up with current happenings by reading about them. You may do this by utilizing sites like:
• British Dental Journal: https://www.nature.com/bdj/
• The BBC News Healthcare section may be found at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/cg1leymm60xt/healthcare.
• Visit the website dentistrytoday.com.
7. Volunteering – in spite of the lockdown, consider methods to give back to your community, such as shopping for an elderly neighbor, as long as it is safe and follows official regulations. For work experience, we have created logbooks both before and during lockdown.
8. Make a list of all the experiences and voluntary work you have previously completed, and start considering the abilities that have been noted and how you may use them.
Pilot Project: South West Dental Work Experience: Motivating the Next Generation of Workers
Students were offered the chance to shadow a range of positions, such as a practice manager, receptionist, dental nurse, hygienist, dental lab technician, dental therapist, and dentist, for a maximum of one week when they applied to work in a practice. All of these positions are necessary for providing quality dental treatment, but some are disregarded while pursuing a career in dentistry since students may not be aware of all the paths leading to dental practice.
Many young people in the South West have good prospects to pursue some of these less well-known vocations, particularly as entry-level options into these fields exist outside of regular university schooling. The goal of the dental work experience pilot program is to educate students about the many occupations in dentistry and how to pursue them.
Participating dental clinics have profited from the students’ additional assistance during their work experience placement and from knowing that these young people are setting an example for the future of dentistry.
Among the dentist offices taking part in the trial is Carriage Works Dental Practice in Lostwithiel, Cornwall. The clinic Manager spoke about the advantages that students have received from working at the clinic throughout their work experience.
We make an effort to expose students to as many various positions as we can, beginning with those of a trainee nurse, certified dental nurse, hygienist, therapist, and oral surgeons, implantologists, orthodontists, and endodontists. Despite being a large office, we have a welcoming staff, and I believe that everyone is passionate about dentistry and it shows in their work. I believe that students are really driven and enthusiastic about dentistry when they graduate. Some of our year 10 students have returned for their summer breaks, having completed their work experience for the week. They expressed their satisfaction and wanted to return for further work experience in the summer.
The practice manager also thought that having students participate in work experience was beneficial for the practice and suggested that other practices think about joining in.
“In my opinion, it’s a very good thing. I believe that when staff members demonstrate to children what they do in their roles, it also excites them to do those roles. And the fact that they can impart their expertise makes them feel satisfied.
How Can You Maximize Your Experience During Dental Work?
To maximize your time throughout your dental procedure experience, keep in mind these important considerations.
1. Maintain a journal
Writing down your observations throughout a work experience is crucial since, at times, it might be simple to forget what you have seen.
To help you better organize your ideas throughout your work experience, we have created a form. That will also make drafting a personal statement a lot simpler. On our “Work Experience” website, under the “Application Guide” link, you may download the form for free.
2. Have a conversation with the dentist and find out what aspects of their work they love the most and least!
You may learn about the specifics of the work and the additional benefits that come with helping others.
Is every day at work enjoyable for them? Is their work challenging and varied on a daily basis? Knowing this is crucial since you could work in this field for more than 40 years!
3. Jot down the names of any therapies you notice in short.
This is more of a reading list to help you prepare for possible interview questions.
4. Aptitudes and attributes
The abilities that dentists possess and how they use them in their practices are something that should not be overlooked.
For instance, the interpersonal skills shown by dentists who are able to put both elderly patients and anxious children at rest. This demonstrates excellent intergenerational communication abilities.
Additionally, you could see traits like respect and patience between the dentist and either his or her patients or coworkers. Make a note of them and determine if you need to develop them further.
There is a space in our website’s logbook for you to always reflect on your job experience. This structure has shown to be very rational and beneficial for students in organizing their ideas and reinforcing the knowledge they have gained via job observation.