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Is 45 too Old for Dental Nursing School?

18th December 20

If you aspire to become a dental nurse, then there is no bad time to commit to making that a reality. You can apply to dental nursing school at any age.

There’s no time like the present to achieve your goals. If you keep putting it off, you’re just missing out on time that could be spent working in the career you want.

Dental nursing is a dynamic and multifaceted career. With so many areas to specialise in, there is a real opportunity to explore the role and find your niche. As well as progress further into more senior positions as you gain more knowledge and experience.

While you may feel that your age will be a barrier, it can actually go in your favour. There are many qualities you can offer to employers and the dental nurse profession over the younger competition.

Look at your life experience and maturity as a selling point. Rather than dwelling on your age, focus on what the years of experience and hard work provide.

Just because you’re changing careers doesn’t discredit your previous accomplishments. These alongside your clear determination to achieve a goal can stand out in a sea of green applications.

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Your Age Can Be Favourable to Employers

Dental nursing is a fast-paced and varied role. Successful dental nurses must adapt and work well in a variety of circumstances. Being calm and charismatic while overseeing many variables.

Your maturity is a great asset to dental practices. You’re more likely to handle high pressured situations better as a dental nurse since you have more life experience to draw from. Which can also greatly benefit your decision-making and management skills.

In the patient’s eyes, age is often associated with seniority. As a mature dental nurse, you’ll likely make them feel assured in an anxious situation. Gaining their trust and respect perhaps quicker than a younger dental nurse would.

Not only that, good communication skills are required in almost every job. You can draw on your prior work experience to build a rapport with patients and put them at ease, a confidence that dental practice employers will recognise and place value on.

Coming into the profession later in life can also be a sign of security for employers. As we get older, we tend to place more value on stability. Older team members typically stay in roles longer, making them appear more loyal and reliable. They can also be viewed as having a better work ethic.

Alongside this, ambition and determination are desirable qualities in a dental practice. As generally there is room to progress and take on more responsibilities. The fact that you’ve been brave enough to make your dental nursing career goal a reality proves that you are a motivated member of the team.  

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There Are Multiple Routes into Dental Nursing

While dental nursing school is a popular choice, there are lots of ways into the role. Some offering a quicker route into the position over others. Giving you the freedom to choose the option best suited to your circumstances.

It is possible to get your foot in the door without formal training. This clearly has benefits since you’re starting out in a totally new industry.

However, Dentists are required to put all unqualified dental nurses through formal training. So, while you may not be on your ideal wage straight away, it won’t be long before you’re trained and earning more money.

To become a qualified dental nurse, you’ll need to take a course approved by the General Dental Council. These courses can be studied either part or full-time, online or within physical education settings.

Most dental practices ask for 1-2 years’ experience working within the role when you apply. In this instance, it’s useful to choose a study option that provides experience.

An example of an accredited course incorporating hands-on training is the online NEBDN National Level 3 Diploma in Dental Nursing. It combines home study with a formative workplace assessment (including a complete Record of Experience) and a summative assessment.

If you aren’t already in a position as a trainee dental nurse, the course providers identify dental nursing vacancies close to you. They’ll also help you secure employment by reviewing your CV and offering advice. If you need help writing a cover letter for dental nursing jobs, they’ll assist you as well as update you with new job opportunities.

Not only that but while you study you’ll be assigned a dedicated tutor to guide you. If you have any questions or queries, they’re on hand to assist. They’ll also provide detailed feedback on assignments so you know exactly how you’re doing.

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Study Online

The benefit of studying dental nursing online as opposed to attending a dental nursing school is the flexibility provided. Attending a physical school or college leaves you waiting around for term to start. You also have to adhere to strict timetables.

Through distance learning, you can complete the online part of the dental nursing course when and where it suits you. Starting the minute you enrol, so you don’t waste a moment of your time. This flexible approach lets you learn as quickly as you want. Meaning most students complete the dental nursing course much quicker than its 2-year time limit.

Other roles in healthcare require years of training and study. Depending on the route they take, dental nurses can become fully qualified and start work in as little as a year.

So, you can make your goal of becoming a dental nurse a reality. Perhaps in less time than you originally thought by studying online.

learndirect is a leading UK distance learning provider. Offering many dental-related qualifications and continuing professional development courses.

Study a quality dental nursing course that is approved, regulated and excellent preparation for your new career. Our NEBDN National Level 3 Diploma in Dental Nursing gives you the qualification and experience you need to succeed.

Click to view the course in more detail below.

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