1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My role involved shadowing the dentist and taking notes on the different treatments conducted on patients. On top of this, I was allowed to ask questions and observe all the workings of a dental clinic at Ladbroke Grove Dental Surgery.
I was also showed the intricacies of dentistry by being allowed to watch some procedures up close.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Yes. I have learnt to develop my listening, observational and understanding skills. This, on top of communication skills, are just a few of the skills I learnt while conducting work experience at Ladbroke Grove Dental Surgery.
Being able to take notes and being given time to think and reflect upon the dentist's work were crucial to me being able to learn and develop these skills.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I thoroughly enjoyed the programme. The friendly work environment, as well as the location of the surgery, made it ideal to conduct my work experience in Ladbroke Grove. The dental multidisciplinary team were all very nice, and the things I was able to see truly gave me an insight into dentistry as a profession.
4. How valued do you feel by Ladbroke Grove Dental Surgery?
I felt very valued by everyone working at the clinic. My efforts at learning and taking on board the different aspects of dentistry were all commended by the nurses, receptionists and dentists. This, along with being written an amazing letter of recommendation to my dental school, were all acts that made me very pleased with the way I was treated.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The programme was very well organised. With each week having a timetabled schedule of things to do, I was certainly left without a moment of dullness. The first day I was shown the ropes, and was guided through my thought process as well as the treatments taking place. However, as days and weeks progressed, I was given more of an independent role, and although support was available, I was motivated to work of my own accord.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
I received a lot of support. The entire team was always open to queries, and never made me feel like I wasn't a priority. After each appointment, the dentist discussed the previous case with me and with whatever spare time he had, he helped me with some concepts that I struggled to grasp. If I had queries during the procedure, however, the dental nurse always aided me with them.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I received quite a lot of support from the employer. At the end of each week at my work experience, my employer would sit down with me and discuss the things I had seen that week. From my experience, he would ask questions, as well as answer any ones that I had, to ensure that I had learned from what I had seen, and taken away something positive from it.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
Quite poorly. I had to fund my own food, travel, and other costs. However, due to the nature of the programme, payment was never expected, nor warranted. As someone shadowing the dentist, my observational role was more for self-development, and to make sure that I developed the correct skills for a career in dentistry.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
There were lots of opportunities outside work. The location of the dental surgery was situated right next to Portobello Market. Therefore during my lunch breaks, as well as before and after work, I could explore the market, along with its vast eateries and sales. There were also lots of other shops to visit during my free time, as the surgery is located on a high street, in the heart of Kensal Green.
9. Would you recommend Ladbroke Grove Dental Surgery to a friend?
Anyone who wishes to apply to dental school requires a certain amount of work experience. Working at Ladbroke Grove Dental Surgery not only provides you with the experience, but also allows you to build on it by giving you a multitude of learning opportunities, as well as a chance to explore and discover things beyond the work environment.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Ladbroke Grove Dental Surgery?
I would tell anyone applying to make sure that they come smartly dressed on a regular basis. This, on top of making sure you get the correct vaccinations, are critical to your professional image, as well as health and safety.
Additionally, anyone who works there should bring a pen and paper daily to make notes, and always be alert.