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Building highly skilled practice teams of tomorrow

29 December 2015

Building highly skilled practice teams of tomorrow

The brand new Apprenticeship in Dental Nursing provides an exciting opportunity for modern dental practices to develop a highly skilled team. The carefully designed course is brought to you by Healthcare Learning and Barnet and Southgate College in London.

A highly experienced, leading supplier of dental education, Healthcare Learning has all the expertise necessary to deliver high quality content and on-going support, enabling apprentices to gain the knowledge and understanding they need to perform their practical duties with competency. Widely recognised learning platforms available from the provider such as the highly acclaimed Healthcare Learning Student Platform will also be made available to apprentices, offering them even more resources and support to complete their studies and maintain their skills in the long-term.

Barnet and Southgate College has extensive experience in successfully providing a wide range of high quality apprenticeship programmes across various different industries, and will be delivering first-rate classroom-based workshops for dental nurse apprentices as well as providing full quality assurance for the overall programme.

Benefits of getting involved

The first clear benefit for practices getting involved with the programme is that their apprentices will learn on the job, developing the practical skills and experience they need to excel in the role of a dental nurse. What’s more, the majority of the course is delivered through online webinars from Healthcare Learning, so apprentices needn’t take much time away from the practice in order to complete the apprenticeship. The nature of the web-based learning means they (and you) can be based anywhere in the UK, eliminating any concerns about extensive travel costs or time out of practice.

The programme reflects all the clinical responsibilities of modern dental nurses, equipping them with the knowledge, skills, behaviours and hands-on workplace experience they need to perform the role effectively. Topics covered include everything from health and safety to roles and responsibilities, chairside support and their role with regards to to dental imaging, infection control, treatment planning, radiography and management of oral diseases and dental procedures. 

For the practice, this affords complete confidence in the capabilities of the apprentice upon completion of the course to fulfil the duties of a dental nurse effectively. Plus, team members working alongside apprentices have an opportunity to help mould them into highly accomplished professionals, who understand and align with the principles and values of the team and the practice. This can be a highly rewarding and enjoyable experience for all, plus it gives existing staff the chance to get involved with training while refreshing their own skills, knowledge and understanding. 

There is also extensive funding available to subsidise the costs of training each apprentice for practices that meet certain criteria. The government has pledged to boost apprenticeships by creating 3 million programmes by 2020 and the Dental Nursing programme is a key beneficiary of this initiative. Therefore, the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) will deliver £2 for every £1 the practice invests. There are also government incentives available for practices with fewer than 50 employees, those taking on apprentices between the ages of 16 and 18, and upon completion of an apprenticeship course. For practices that qualify for all these additional incentives, while they will initially invest £3,000 per apprentice, they are set to receive £3,600 in rebates once the course is completed and so will actually benefit by £600 per apprentice.

Looking to the future 

The Apprenticeship in Dental Nursing provides all students with a Level 3 Diploma in Dental Nursing, which is equivalent to two A-levels. Not only does this enable apprentices to register with the GDC and embark on a long and successful professional career in dentistry, but it also offers enormous potential for them to undertake further training in the future in order to advance and move onto senior roles. All this continues to benefit the practice — highly motivated staff with the chance to progress can really help expand the services available and help to drive the business forward. As such, by training dental nurses today, highly skilled and enthusiastic teams of tomorrow can begin to take shape.

Intake for the apprenticeship programme begins every few months with the next start dates in early 2016. An eligibility criteria form is available that is designed to provide a quick assessment of candidates’ suitability for the course. Generally, candidates need a grade C or above in GCSE English and Maths, but practices do have freedom to create their own selection criteria within reason.

Everyone working in dentistry shares a passion for excellent patient care and development of the services available. The Apprenticeship in Dental Nursing provides a fantastic new opportunity to welcome even more enthusiastic professionals to the sector, helping to secure the future of UK dentistry.

For more information or applications contact Healthcare Learning

 Tel: 020 7400 8989


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