New trainee programme to help reverse “worrying shortage” of dental nurses

Dental nurse trainee Charlie McGill

SCOTLAND’S largest dental group is well underway on a new dental nurse trainee programme in a bid to tackle major staff shortages in the sector.

20 individuals across the country have been enlisted in the 12-month course from Clyde Munro Dental Group, working towards qualifications in dental nursing.

The Glasgow firm’s Strive Programme – which commenced at the end of last year – aims to introduce people new to the industry about the fundamentals of the profession, from chairside assistance skills to patient journeys.

The programme comes after the number of qualified nurses in Scotland was dropping, and from starting the programme last year to February 2022, there have been a further 311 drop off the register.

Charlie McGill, 23, from Kilwinning is one of the 20 nurses currently taking part in the training programme. Charlie, who is stationed at Kilwinning dental practice, said: “The whole programme so far has been fantastic. I’ve learnt so much and the senior team at my practice could not have been more helpful and supportive.” 

“While I’m the only trainee in my practice, all the trainees on the programme meet up once a month and we’re able to stay connected to other practices through Clyde Munro’s Beekeeper app. It’s so helpful to be able to speak with people who are in the same position as myself. “

“I did an undergraduate degree in History and Politics at Glasgow Caledonian University before working full-time in a call centre, but I’ve always had an interest in dental care since getting my veneers a few years ago.”

“I think it’s amazing how much the right dental care can improve your confidence and even change your whole perception of yourself and I would love to specialise in aesthetics one day. I can definitely see this as being my career for the rest of my life and I’m really grateful for Clyde Munro for giving me such a great opportunity.”

After the 12 month programme, the newly qualified nurses will go through a formal graduation with the group and then will have the opportunity to continue their development with further courses which will enable them to progress a career pathway within the dental group.

Nicola Logan, Head of HR at Clyde Munro, said: “It’s great to get the trainee programme underway in what is a crucial step to addressing the shortage in qualified dental nurses whilst supporting nurses through training and into their dream career. It is so important for the group to promote the opportunities we can offer within dentistry and promote it has a career. It is important to me that we continue to invest in our teams.”

“A dentist cannot operate without their nurse, and we believe we should focus on showing how we can support qualified nurses throughout their career development.”

Clyde Munro’s full-time programme has placed its 20 applicants in practices all across the country, working alongside current professionals.

The trainees will gather monthly for practical tuition and experience. The dental group will be working in collaboration with training provider, Ident, which specialises in professional dental nurse training.

The success of the Strive Programme, has allowed Clyde Munro to run a second programme which will commence in April 2022.

Nicola added: “Anyone with good communications and interpersonal skills who is excited to join the industry is welcome on the training programme.”

“It is our responsibility to help our trainees to gain as much knowledge and experience as possible to become confident nurses by the end of the programme.”

Clyde Munro was founded by Jim Hall in 2015 with the acquisition of seven practices. Since then, it has enjoyed rapid growth and now comprises 54 practices across Scotland, with more than 430,000 patients and 400 staff. 

As well as a presence in all of Scotland’s cities, it owns practices from Orkney and the Highlands to the Scottish Borders.

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