The Student Room Group

How likely is the prospect of becoming a trainee dental nurse in my gap year?

tl;dr: If possible I want to become a trainee dental nurse/assistant during my gap year before dental school. Concerned about training requirements beforehand and wondering how the impact of two weeks of volunteering at a dental practice would do.

Currently finishing up my two weeks of work experience at a local dental practice. It was a mix of observations and actual hands-on assisting in a 40:60 ratio where I honestly learned so much about this field, from the types of fillings to the tools used for root canals to the prevalence of gum disease to the importance of paperwork and consent in dentist. Already I am dead set on getting into dental school.

FYI the reasoning for my gap year isn't grades. or anything. Year 12 went pretty well for me with a predicted A*A*A for bio, chem, maths. Saving money, a breather from education; acquiring new skills (learning Japanese) and a free Year 12 summer without UCAT revision were the main reasons for opting for the gap year route.

One of my main gap year goals is to become a trainee dental nurse/assistant at a dental practice. I currently work a part-time weekend job at Waitrose and worked a summer job at Primark last year, so I have a nice CV for my age. Combined with the - albeit minor - stint at a dental practice makes me hope that a job application into a dental field would work out and give me additional valuable experience before my foray into the lions den(tistry).

But looking at most job listings it's clear that most clinics want either a GDC qualified dental nurse or one that is enrolled on a dental nursing course. The latter option wouldn't be that much of a problem if it werent't for the fact that:
a) Dental nursing courses can be over a year long to complete, which would conflict with starting dental school.
b) I would have to pay a hefty toll to even access a course that would be a stepping stone for dentistry.
c) Practices may reject me if I disclosed the fact that I eventually intend on leaving for dental school.

Should I opt to just sack of job listings and call local practices and pray they accept me with my minimal experience? Apply to any that offer to subsidise a dental nursing qualification/GDC registration? Or just continue down the retail path and stack money until September 2025? Any additional advice would be greatly appreciated.

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