Student dental nurse (trainee) jobs

Achieve your ambitions at {my}dentist

Being a Dental Nurse in the UK is a rewarding and fulfilling role in which talented, personable and ambitious individuals can support dentists in providing high-quality dental care, improving the lives of patients across the country.

At {my}dentist, we’re always on the lookout for ambitious individuals who are looking to embark on a new career as a dental nurse, join our brilliant practice teams and make a difference to patients.

With nearly 600 modern practices across the UK, each with its own friendly, experienced, and well-established practice team already in place, there are countless opportunities for nurses looking for roles where they can grow their careers in a comfortable and supportive environment.

We’re investing more in our frontline teams than ever before and, as a result, Student Nurse (Trainees) at {my}dentist can expect a competitive salary up to £9.50 (depending on experience) and industry-leading benefits, including annual leave rising to 30 days with service, health cash plans, access to private GP services, childcare vouchers, GDC registration fees, fully-paid indemnity cover, life assurance, pension scheme and discounts at high street retailers.

You’ll also get real job stability and access to outstanding support, such as professional development courses to shape your career in a way that suits you.

Check out student dental nursing roles at {my}dentist

Why join {my}dentist to become a dental nurse

Being the largest dental provider in Europe we have the size and scale for career development like no other which is why in 2016 we partnered with the NEBDN to develop an in-house fully-funded (the same course can cost you around £2000 if you train through a local provider) and fully accredited 12-18 month training and mentoring programme for our student nurse (trainees). Whilst in permanent employment and a good entry salary. We know that many people prefer to learn on the job whilst being paid a living wage.

You’ll work closely with skilled clinicians and learn everything you need to know to work as a dental nurse in the UK. Best of all, you can move straight into a dental nurse role at one of our nearly 600 practices in the UK once you’ve completed the initial course.

Once you complete the course, you’ll receive benefits such as a £500 qualification bonus, salary increase to minimum hourly rate of £9.60 equivalent to £19,968 per annum (40 hour week) and your GDC registration paid (£114 per year currently) with further pay increases after 2, 4 and 6 years of GDC registration.

You’ll also have everything you need to study for your NEBDN Diploma, allowing you to become a full-time Registered Dental Nurse.
We often see course pass rates of 90%+ for both the written and practical exams, so you can be sure you’re in good hands.

Since we began our journey as an accredited course provider of the NEBDN diploma in 2015 we have seen over 1500 student nurse (trainees) succeed to pass their course to become an NEBDN recognised and GDC registered qualified dental nurse!

What qualifications do I need to become a dental nurse?

You don’t need specific qualifications to become a student dental nurse, however, you will need to study either part (min 16 hours/ week) or full-time to become a qualified dental nurse.

Course entry requirements can vary, but a minimum of 2 GCSEs 4/C grade or above is usually the standard, and the course will need to be accredited by the General Dental Council (GDC).

To enrol onto our in-house diploma, you are required to have a minimum of English GCSE grade 4/C or above. If you do not have this at interview stage we can allow you to complete an online English Assessment. To qualify for enrolment, you would need to achieve a minimum level 2. These results are issued instantly.

You can learn more on the NHS Careers website.

What personal attributes do you need to become a dental nurse?

Motivation and passion

To train and develop your career working towards a vocational qualification with a mix of on the job and online training.

Great organisational skills

The environment in a dental surgery is fast paced and ever changing, so you need to be prepared for anything! You will take an active role in ensuring you’re always prepared by staying incredibly organised. From paperwork, to patient schedules, and exam room prep, there are many ways organisation will help you be successful.

  • Accurate patient record keeping and maintenance
  • Ensuring dental equipment and materials are clean and in their proper place

Great attention to detail

This is an important trait to ensure patient safety and comfort in the surgery. In order to be successful, you’ll need the ability to concentrate on and pay attention to even the smallest details.

Great dexterity

It’s fair to say you’ll be working with your hands a lot! And when you’re assisting the dentist, you’ll be working in a tight space on a small part of the body. Having great control of the small muscles of your hands and fingers is important. Great hand-eye coordination is also a must as you’ll need to work precisely with small tools and instruments.

Professionalism

You will play an important role in patient satisfaction – you’ll often be the first and last person a patient interacts with! The way you act and present yourself is reflective of the overall practice. What does this mean?

  • Arriving at work on time
  • A clean ironed uniform (provided by {my}dentist)
  • Taking your work seriously
  • Having a positive attitude

Strong Communication

This is vital in any workplace, but especially in a practice. For the day to run smoothly and on-schedule, you’ll need to work effectively as a team player. You will be a liaison between different parties, so you’ll need to communicate effectively with various types of people – from patients of all ages to dental staff and dentists. Great chairside manner is key!

  • Speaking face-to-face and over-the-phone
  • Explaining complex subjects in a simple way (for example, billing and insurance)
  • Initiating small talk with patients.
  • Describing dental care instructions
  • Outlining patient status, room availability, and changes in the daily schedule

Ability to listen

A big part of being a good communicator is knowing how to listen. You will interact closely with patients every day. Your ability to correctly respond to patient’s concerns or questions starts by lending an ear and listening well. Additionally, you’ll need to have good listening skills in order to correctly follow instruction. This requires you to be able to;

  • Look the speaker in the eye
  • Keep an open mind while the person is talking
  • Give regular feedback to better understand and confirm what the person is saying

Ability to juggle priorities

You’ll have to balance all your duties in a smooth and effortless manner. Between preparing examination rooms and sterilising equipment, you’ll need to be ready to answer phone calls, greet and escort patients, answer insurance and billing questions, and assist the other dental staff with procedures. You should enjoy juggling multiple tasks in the span of an hour or even a few minutes, in order to succeed in this role.

Compassion and empathy

A high proportion of the population suffer from anxiety about going to the dentist. You need to be aware of this common phobia and provide a compassionate, empathetic attitude to patients at all times. You want to help patients feel calm and do your best to ensure they feel relaxed and confident throughout their appointment.

Desire to support and help

If you’re not excited about the thought of assisting and helping others, then a career in dental assisting may not be for you. You should love and take pride in doing everything you can to work as a team and support your dentist. You’ll be working chairside for a high proportion of your day;

  • Handling of instruments
  • Keeping the patient’s mouth clean and dry
  • Moving their tongue or cheek while they’re examined

Resilience

Determination and strong work ethic will go a long way toward your successful career as a dental nurse. No day will be the same. You’ll have with busy days, some unhappy (and happy) patients, problems to solve, and more. If you are resilient and dedicated to always giving your best you are likely to take these more challenging days in stride!

Student dental nurse career path

  • Student dental nurse Min rate £9.18 per hour £9.50 for age 23 and over plus £500 bonus on qualifying
  • Dental nurse Min rate £9.60 per hour
  • Dental nurse (2+ years GDC reg) Min rate £9.75 per hour
  • Dental nurse (4+ years GDC reg) Min rate £9.90 per hour
  • Dental nurse (6+ years GDC reg) Min rate £10.05 per hour
  • Dental nurse mentor Plus opportunities to specialise into areas such as implants or sedation (bonus of £250 if you are a QDN)
  • Area support nurse (Float Nurse) Min rate £10.20 per hour
  • Advanced dental nurse Min rate £10.41 per hour
  • Head nurse Min rate £10.67 per hour
  • Treatment coordinator Min rate £11 per hour
  • Practice manager
  • Dental hygienist
  • Dental therapist
  • Orthodontic therapist

Some practices also offer an additional hours rate premium depending on location.

Student Dental Nurse frequently asked questions

What qualification is the {my}dentist student dental nurse programme?

Our in-house programme is the National Diploma in Dental Nursing with the NEBDN (National Exam Board for Dental Nurses). We are an accredited course provider, and the course itself is the equivalent of a Level 3.

How is the course completed?

Our diploma is an online/distance learning programme, with a mix of eLearning on our own in-house LMS system and a work based record of experience, which is completed on an online platform called Pebblepad.

We hold 3 revision workshops leading up to your first exam. These are regionally-based and full-day sessions to give you the best chance at passing the exam.

Once coursework is complete you will sit a written and a practical examination. Both are completed online. The written exam is 100 questions (multiple choice and extended matching answers) and you will have 2 hours to complete this.

The practical exam (also referred to as the Observed Structural Clinical Examination or OSCE exam) is in two parts, an online workbook section and a zoom call with an examiner.

What happens if you fail the exam?

We allow students a retake of the exam free of charge to give them an additional opportunity to pass.

What support will I have?

You will be appointed a practice-based mentor and witness to support you throughout your course. You will also have a marker who will mark your record of experience portfolio. For any other support, you are able to contact our Academy team at any time, and there are student dental nurse online drop-in sessions with an Academy Trainer should you need further help.