Student Resources – Questions2023-09-19T12:19:27+01:00
dental nurse training courses

Frequently Asked Questions

About Finding a Trainee Dental Nurse Job

When can I start looking for work?2023-09-19T09:22:24+01:00

We recommend you start looking for a job as soon as you enrol onto our course. You can start working as soon as you get your course enrolment confirmation, you do not need to wait for your classes to start or complete any assignments before you start working.

In short – the sooner you start working the better, as you will be able to follow the course content more, and you will be learning a lot at the practice, which will help you pass your exams. Ideally, you should be working within 3 months of starting your course in order not to fall behind on your coursework and not to miss any coursework submission deadlines.

What will happen if I do not get a job within 3 months?2023-09-19T09:23:33+01:00

3 months is a guide so that students do not leave their job search until last minute. Nothing will happen immediately if you do not manage to secure a job within 3 months but you risk falling behind with your coursework – the eRoE – as you need to be working to be able to start completing it. And the consequence of not having your eRoE completed before the deadline (deadlines for SmileWisdom Students can be checked with Emma Davis: emma.davis@smilewisdom.co.uk and for Learndirect Students with Rechia De Kock: Rechia.De.Kock@learndirect.com) might mean that you will not be able to sit your planned exam, and will incur further fees and/or you will need to stay on the course for longer than planned. Therefore, we encourage Students to start looking for jobs as soon as they enrol, and ideally start working within 3 months of starting the course, in order not to miss any important deadlines.


Can I work as an Apprentice?2023-09-18T11:32:52+01:00

The simple answer is no; the Apprenticeship in Dental Nursing and the NEBDN Diploma are two different things, so you should be looking to work as a ‘Trainee’ / ‘Student’ dental nurse.

Do I need experience to get a job?2023-09-18T11:39:30+01:00

No, you do not need experience to get a job as a Trainee Dental Nurse. Many employers are looking for a candidate without any background in the field and they will be providing full training and support while you study and learn all about dental nursing. in return, they will expect you to be motivated, reliable, commited and willing to learn.

Have a look at THIS YouTube video in which we talk about finding a job without experience.

Where do I look for jobs?2023-09-18T11:58:27+01:00

Create a profile on our website: www.smilewisdomjobs.co.uk – having an account will allow you to sigh up for job alets, so you get notified when a new job is added in your area.

Search on Google and other recruitment websites. Download our  list of most popular job sites  – with links – that might help you. Again, create a profile and uploade your CV on each of these sites so that you receive a notification whenever a new vacancy gets added in your area.

Finally, we strongly recommend you use THIS SEARCH to get a full list of dental practices in your area (change ‘Type’ to ‘Dentist’ and enter your town or postcode). Start contacting your local dental pratices, onee by one, regardless of whether they are currently advertising vacancies or not. We recommend this because many practices will be looking for staff but they will not be advertising this on any of the above mentioned job portals; they might be looking internally, through recommendations, or using recruitment agencies.

How do I find a job that is local to me?2023-09-18T12:23:48+01:00

Please check out the prevous question: ‘Where do I look for jobs?’

Also, please check out THIS YouTube video where we talk about finding a job in your local area.

I am an overseas Dentist. Do I mention this to employers?2023-09-18T12:45:40+01:00

First of all, it would be very difficult for you to ommit several years of education and work experience (if you practiced dentistry abroad) from your CV. Second of all, being an overseas-qualified dentist might work to your advantage as many practices will like the fact that you already have experience and kbowledge of dental procedures, instruments, know the principles of cross-infection prevention etc… Therefore, yes – always put this on your CV  and mention this in your cover letter.

However, the important thing is how you showcase this. Don’t boast about your doctorate thesis or professional assiciations you were a member of abroad; instead, focus on how your valuable skills and knowledge can be used at a pracitce once you start working as a dental nurse. In a way, you are overqualified for the role, yes, but try to remain humble about it and explain to potential employers why do you want to work as a dental nurse and what assets will you contribute to their team.

Do not say openly, and be careful not to give employers such impression, that you are studying dental nursing ‘pass time’ / because you cannot do anything better at the moment / because you want to train to your ORE exam (even if these are the reasons) – most employers do not want to put time, money and effort into employing someone who will leave at the first opportunity. If you do get asked about your future plans at the interview, you could say that you would love to register as a dentist in the UK some time in the future / that this is something you have planned long-term, but as this is a process that might take several years, you want to work as a nurse and make the best of your professional skills, in the work environment you love for the time being.

Why do I need Hepatitis B (HEP B) vaccination & how to get it?2023-09-19T09:21:12+01:00

Hepatitis B (also called Hep B) vaccination is very important and you will not be able to work as a trainee nurse without it.

The Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for anyone working in a setting where there’s a risk of infection. This can be through the bites of patients, needlestick injury, or through direct exposure to contaminated blood.

You will need a course of 3 vaccines, usually done within a period of 6 months (your healthcare professional will confirm your vaccination schedule). Please note that you can work 48h after the first dose, no need to wait for the full course of 3 doses to be completed before you commence your employment.

Ask your GP if they provide it to medical students – explain to them that you are a student, and not employed yet, therefore you cannot get it through work or use Occupational Health service. If your GP does not provide Hep B vaccination service – not all of them do – you might need to do it privately for a fee. For this, you can contact any travel vaccination clinic (e.g. some Boots pharmacies offer this service), or just google ‘Hep B vaccination near me’ and see where you can do it that is local to you.

If you are based in London, you can contact our partner practice, MyHealthcare Clinic, where you would be able to do the Hep B at a discounted price. Please click HERE to download more information.

If you have had Hep B vaccinations in the past, you need to either have a certificate/Dr’s note confirming that, or please contact your doctor to ask for a quick blood test to confirm your level of antibodies to make sure you are still protected to work in a medical environment.

My GP said that my employer/school needs to arrange my Hep B vaccine. Is this true?2023-09-19T09:17:36+01:00

No. If you were a qualified dental nurse or already working at a practice then YES, your employer could potentially help you arrange it. However, as you are a student looking for your first job and cannot commence work in a dental practice until you’ve had at least the first Hp B vaccine (out of the full course of 3 vaccinations) you need to have it sorted before you seek employment; either independently or through your GP before you start working.

Our Academy (SmileWisdom/Learndirect) can issue you with a letter you give to your GP, explaining your circumstances and the need for vaccine. Please contact us if you need this.

What is the difference between GDC Registered/Qualified Nurse and Trainee/Student Nurse?2023-09-19T09:56:17+01:00

When you start looking for work, you will notice that many practice are looking for a ‘GDC’ dental nurse. GDC stands for General Dental Council and it is an official medical registration number you get awarded once you have passed your national exams.

You will not be able to apply for your GDC number until you have successfully finished your course and passed your exams. The process is: You study at the Academy & work as a Trainee/Student Dental Nurse -> you complete for your eRoE (electronic Record of Experience) coursework -> you pass your exams -> you apply for your GDC number -> once you have your GDC number you are officially a ‘Qualified Dental Nurse’.

What is the minimum number of hours I am required to work?2023-09-19T10:10:06+01:00

The course includes an assessed work placement. You will need to be working as a trainee dental nurse for a minimum of 16 hours per week over the duration of the course to complete your written eRoE (electronic Record of Experience) coursework. However, the more hours you are available the better; it is usually easier to find a full time job, where you are not limited by your availability/days/hours you are able to work, and of course you will learn a lot on the job, so the more you’ll work the more you’ll learn.

How do I find a part time job?2023-09-19T10:29:29+01:00

The process of finding a part time job is the same as looking for a full time job. Please refer to the questions above: ‘Where do I look for jobs?’ and ‘How do I find a job that is local to me?’
Please, however, please keep in mind that finding a part time job would usually take longer than finding a full time employment, especially if you have particular availability or visa constrains the practice needs to accommodate. In other words: the more flexible you are, the easier it will be to find work.

What about volunteering? If a dental practice asked me to work/shadow for free, can I do this?2023-09-19T10:41:38+01:00

As a college we strongly believe that practical workplace training is an integral part of our students’ learning journey, is essential for the safety of everyone at the practice, including patients, and as a recruitment agency we think that training is a key to a successful hire and a good workplace relationship, so the mandatory training on the tasks necessary for you to complete your job safely and correctly should not – in our opinion – be something extra that you do for free.

We discourage students from agreeing to work/be trained for free; when you commence your work as a dental nurse student/trainee, being taught, mentored, supported, and learning on the job is inevitably written into your job description.

Having said that, if you are happy to volunteer and not be paid for a certain period of time this is up to you, and your experience gained this way will still count towards the 16h/week you need to be working to complete your eRoE coursework.


I have a Visa/ work permit question or I need Visa Sponsorship.2023-09-19T10:56:18+01:00

As the course will require a work placement, please ensure you have a legal right to work in the UK before you enrol. The Academy is not responsible for checking if you are eligable for work, or what the restrictions on your visa/work permit might be. We advice you to check this with the Home Office if you are not sure.

Unfortunately, we cannot help you get a visa/work permit so this needs to be organised by you and in place before you start applying for jobs.

Should I work at an NHS or Private dental practice?2023-09-19T11:11:16+01:00

It really does not matter as far as your course is concerned, whether you get a job at an NHS, Private or a ‘Mixed’ clinic (one that offers both NHS and private treatments) as long as you are exposed to a wide range of dental treatments. You will need to assist with a variety of procedures to complete your eRoE and also practice to your exams, so we advise you against chosing a workplac that only specialises in one or two procedures (e.g. an Orthodontic or an Implant only clinic), but instead opt for a practice that offers many treatments, ideally from routine and emergency dentistry to some cosmetic and/or specialist treatments.

Steps to finding a Trainee Dental Nurse Job

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Need extra help?

We’re here to support you with your job search, from helping you write a perfect CV to coaching you on how to ace your interview!

Browse our Resources pages for more help, or get in touch with your Student Career Support person, Zsoka.

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Zsoka Ralik

Student Career Support