Overcoming difficulties and inspiring the future


  Posted by: Dental Design      10th April 2023

Magdalena Mackay, newly appointed representative for Scotland for the British Association of Dental Therapists (BADT), shares her experience of becoming a dental therapist and how the BADT has supported her career so far:

‘I am originally from Poland and arrived in the UK in 2005 to become an au-pair and study. A few months after my arrival I fell in love with this country and decided to stay a bit longer. I enrolled to become a trainee dental nurse and I qualified in 2007.

‘My journey started at a small NHS practice, but a few years after qualifying, I progressed into private dentistry. I even I spent time at a military-based dental clinic until I relocated to Scotland. Soon after I settled on the Isle of Skye, I enrolled at the University of Highlands and Islands in Inverness to study Dental Therapy, graduating in 2021. I then started my first job in a small NHS practice on the Isle of Skye.

‘When I worked as a dental nurse, I met Dr Christopher Leech. He is such an excellent dentist, and it was him who inspired me to pursue dental therapy. His passion, enthusiasm and thirst for being the best at what he does was really infectious, and he was always very supportive and encouraging me to progress with my career. It’s because of him that I wanted to do more and be more.’

During the early stages of her career journey, Magdalena discovered the BADT, and has since become heavily involved with the Association:

‘My professional start as a dental therapist wasn’t easy. I was working in a very small community on a remote island and I had no other choice but to work under Direct Access. There were many aspects of my job and my scope of practice that were unclear to me and I needed support. Luckily, one of my colleagues, Kyle Anderson, was the representative for Scotland for the BADT at that time. He annually attended conference to represent the BADT and I knew I could ask him and the Association for any guidance.’

Now, as Magdalena takes over the role as representative for Scotland, she discusses her duties, tips for new members and why people should join:

‘I am so honoured and privileged to be chosen as a council member for the BADT. 

My main duties are to represent the BADT in Scotland and to be the bridge between members and the Association. I also want to raise awareness of the BADT in Scotland and spread the word of all the hard work that is going on behind closed doors!

‘There are many reasons why people should join the BADT. We are an Association run by working professionals to represent all dental therapists and hygienists. We are like one family (small but powerful), and there are really knowledgeable people with different expertise and backgrounds running the council. We also have fingers in a lot of pies which is important when it comes to ensuring that all members can continue to evolve in their roles.

‘I believe we fight for our members and listen to them. We are their voice in the wider industry, and provide support, education, discounts on indemnity with Dental Protection and continue to fight to expand our scope of practice.

‘My first tip for new members is find out who your regional representative is and don’t be afraid to get in touch with them if you have an issue/query. I also recommend signing up to the BADT newsletters, as they include the most up-to-date information on what is happening and what the BADT is working on. Our President Debbie Hemington and Chair Fiona Sandom regularly send out emails with news and interesting events. Plus, our Dental Therapy Update Journal is full of interesting articles that provide great insight into our profession, especially for newly qualified individuals.’

With a host of membership benefits and the opportunity to be part of an Association that can help shape your career, there has never been a better time to join the BADT. Magdalena concludes:

‘I believe that the first year as a qualified clinician can really shape the way you work and set your mindset for your professional future. I don’t want that light and passion for the profession ever to be dimmed.

‘I, myself, have not had an easy start, therefore, I don’t want anyone else to struggle or feel that they are alone. I would like to be there for anyone that needs help or guidance and the BADT is the perfect organisation to offer support. I don’t think I would be where I am if it wasn’t for the BADT. The encouragement I received was invaluable, not only from a professional point of view but also mentally.’

To find out more about becoming a member of the BADT, please contact the team today.

For more details, please visit www.badt.org.uk

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