It was a job advert for a position as a Dental Nurse that first sparked Nicola’s ambition to retrain, attend college and launch her dream career. At the time, Nicola Brooks, 28, was balancing a full-time role as mum to her young son, with working part-time in a supermarket role that she didn’t really enjoy. With her son starting primary school full-time, Nicola had more time on her hands and realised that she wanted to achieve more in life.
Nicola from Sutton, spotted the job vacancy with Lowe House Dental Practice and decided to apply. Nicola says, “I had always been interested in dental nursing since I left school but never pursued it as a career. I was delighted to be offered the position but I needed a qualification so they referred me to St Helens College.”
Now a part-time adult student, Nicola is studying a level 3 Advanced Diploma in Dental Nursing at St Helens College alongside her new job. The course focuses on direct chair-side work and providing support during a range of dental treatments. Nicola attends College one day per week to gain the knowledge and theory behind dentistry, whilst working four days a week at Lowe House Dental Practice.
Nicola explains, “It felt like the right time to do something which would provide a better future for my family. I had achieved a few other qualifications in the past but never settled into a career. This route works really well for me as I balance my work, home and student life. I get to study but can still earn what I need to support my family.”
Upon completion of her 18-month course, which receives validation from the Generaln Dental Council (GDC), Nicola hopes to secure a full-time position as a qualified dental nurse.
She added, “This course has been the perfect starting point for me and will help me to progress. I love my job and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the course. The dentist relies so heavily on their dental nurses – we make sure that they have everything that they need to treat patients. It is a really rewarding role.”
Encouraging others Nicola says, “It is never too late to make that change and chase that dream. It was the right time in my life for me to return to education and train for my career. It was a little daunting but the tutors are really supportive and I’ve met some great people on the course. This is my time now.”
Upon successful completion of her course, Nicola hopes to progress onto university to become a Dental Hygienist.