Unlimited opportunities – Richard Ablett – Clinical Advisor to ADGFeatured Products Promotional Features
Posted by: The Probe 10th February 2019
Career progression is essential for every dental professional. It ensures the advancement of skills, broadening of experience and achievement of personal aspirations.
When it comes to finding the best-fit job role, there are various aspects that require consideration. What does the position involve on a day-to-day basis? What opportunities are there to progress? Will it be challenging without leaving you out of your depth? Is there an established support network? What training and CPD are available that will be relevant to my role?
There are some in our profession who are apprehensive about working with a dental group. For reasons based on past experience, assumptions or hearsay, some dental hygienists and dental therapists prefer to work for smaller, single-handed establishments and avoid anything else completely. It is perfectly understandable that for some, these environments are a good fit – but for others, dental groups can offer an array of benefits that could truly propel your career forward.
All members of the Association of Dental Groups (ADG) have worked hard to understand and therefore effectively utilise the skill and scope of dental hygienists and dental therapists. Efficient use of skill mix is a particularly important area for us all, as our various members look to continually improve the patient care they offer.
As part of their commitment to their clinical teams, many groups also offer comprehensive training programmes for dental hygienists and dental therapists, which contribute to annual CPD requirements. Additional educational opportunities such as courses for extended duties are readily available for those interested and the structure of the companies affords various different positions within each group to encourage career progression and promotion.
But you don’t have to take our word for it. Here are some comments from dental hygienists and dental therapists working within ADG member groups about their experiences:
Jan Proudler, dental therapist from mydentist Bingley Road, Saltaire, said:
“I’ve had an amazing journey since joining mydentist in 2014. With the support of my practice team and our area development manager, my role has grown and developed over the years, increasing my working days at the practice from one to four per week.
“With the support of my colleagues, I’m able to utilise my full scope of practice as a dental therapist. I’m lucky to work alongside a very pro-therapist group of dentists – together we manage complex treatment plans and I’m continuously learning and improving my skills through the process of peer review. I’ve had the opportunity to speak with dentists and practice managers within our area, helping to promote the role of dental hygienists and therapists, encouraging the use of our role, and the benefits it can bring not only to other clinicians, but also to our patients. I’m currently working on a number of projects and events with the mydentist Resourcing and Employer Brand team to promote the opportunities the group can offer to dental hygienists and therapists throughout the UK.”
Laura Walker, dental hygiene therapist from Centre for Dentistry, commented:
“I have been with Centre for Dentistry nearly 5 years. There is a great sense of community, especially with the patients, which gives me a real sense of satisfaction in my work. I always feel supported clinically, by the other staff and dentists at the practice, as well as by management.
“I absolutely feel that the group cares about me as an individual. As a hygiene therapist, my clinical judgment is respected, and this matters hugely. We are very fortunate to have access to up-to-date equipment and materials which helps us deliver the best care to our patients. There is also ample time to complete treatments and a generous bonus scheme.”
Amy Hambly-Symons, dental therapist at Smile Together, commented:
“I believe there are several benefits to working within the group sector as a dental therapist. Firstly, you have sufficient time to treat and educate patients, and while there are still time pressures in community dental services such as those offered by Smile Together, the knowledge that we can book patients in for longer or additional appointments to finish work to a high standard is extremely comforting. Secondly, I work in multi-surgery environments, so there are always dentists next door should I have any questions and there is also a network of people to contact for advice. In addition, you get to work with highly trained dental nurses; you have the support of an effective management team orchestrating all the compliance paperwork; and you have the opportunity to complete CPD and further training to advance your skills, which is funded as part of your employment package and helps you feel very invested in the group. Plus, community dentistry offers the chance to make a real difference locally and it is extremely rewarding to gain experience with ‘special care’ patients who have more complex needs.”
Becky Pollard, dental therapist at 543 Dental Care, added:
“Working in a large practice means I get to do a wide range of treatments and have lots of dentists that refer patients to me. The concept of dental therapy is well understood by our associates and I get to use my full ‘scope of practice’, including impression taking, extractions and tooth whitening.”
We all know that dental hygienists and dental therapists are key members of the dental team within modern practices. The clinical skill set, patient relationships and passion for oral health promotion among those in the field are just some of the attributes that make them such proactive and valuable members of the profession. Finding an environment whereby your skills can be fully utilised is important for both your job satisfaction and career development. A dental group might be more beneficial than you have previously thought, so make sure you don’t limit your options and opportunities in the future.
For more information about the ADG visit www.dentalgroups.co.uk
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