This occupation is found in healthcare under the profession of dentistry. Dental nurses work in a clinical environment that could be located in a NHS general dental practice, hospital, private dental practice, specialist dental practice, community dental service or military dental clinic. The clinical environment is called a dental surgery and consists of a dental chair, x-ray unit and various equipment and instruments required for dentistry. An apprentice will predominately work with a dentist, dental hygienist, dental therapist, clinical dental technician or orthodontic therapist within a surgery environment with patients attending throughout the day.
The broad purpose of the occupation is to provide chair side support to all dental professionals and ensure high standards of cleanliness and infection control. Dental nurses prepare instruments, materials and medicaments for dental procedures, mix materials, sterilise instruments, keep records, note dictation, carry out stock control and ensure patient comfort and safety throughout their visit.
In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with patients of all ages, other members of the dental team, other health professionals and representatives of organisations providing support services to the setting. Depending on the dental setting the dental nurse could also interact with schools, the prison service, community dental service, individuals in their own homes and those in care home settings.
An employee in this occupation will be responsible for providing care for people of all ages, different backgrounds, cultures and beliefs within a variety of clinical environments. Dental nurses must ensure that they only carry out a task, treatment or make decisions about a patient’s care if they are appropriately trained, competent, indemnified and have the necessary skills. Dental nurses are registered professionals and work within the standards and scope of practice as defined by the General Dental Council Scope of Practice document.
An apprenticeship is a paid job where the employee learns and gains valuable experiences. They are a great opportunity for people over the age of 16 in England who are early in their career, looking for a career-change, or looking to upskill in their current job.
Alongside on-the-job training, apprentices spend at least 6 of their working hours each week completing off the job training, usually at college, which leads to a nationally recognised qualification.
An apprenticeship includes:
● paid employment with holiday leave
● hands-on-experience in a sector/role of interest
● at least 6 hours off-the-job training
● formal assessment which leads to a nationally recognised qualification
Tameside college will work with you to find a suitable employer for your apprenticeship, or you may already have an employer who is willing to support you on your apprenticeship journey.
Apprentices must be paid at least the apprenticeship minimum wage. More information about the apprenticeship minimum wage can be found at https://www.gov.uk/national-minimum-wage-rates
Level 2 apprenticeships: 3 x GCSE grade 3 and minimum GCSE grade 1 in maths and English (or equivalent)
Level 3 apprenticeships: 4x GCSE grade 4 and minimum grade 3 in Maths and English (or equivalent)
You will be assessed for your apprenticeship at work by your visiting skills coach and for the knowledge/technical elements at college by your teacher. Evidence produced in the workplace for your apprenticeship programme will be continually assessed on an ongoing basis throughout your apprenticeship.
At the end of your apprenticeship you will sit an end point assessment (EPA). End-point assessments test the knowledge, skills and behaviours that an apprentice has gained during their training. Unique to each standard, EPA demonstrates the competence of an apprentice in their role. This competence is valued by current and future employers.
After completing an apprenticeship, you could continue to train for an advanced, higher, or degree level apprenticeship, or a related vocational qualification. Many people continue their progression with the same employer they undertook their apprenticeship with. Alternatively, on completion of a level 3 apprenticeship, you could go on to university.