Danielle Hilton, BSc Dental Hygiene and Therapy 2014 | Hygienist/Therapist

danielle-hilton-450x450Danielle currently works in two practices as a Hygienist/Therapist and has applied to study graduate entry dentistry. 

Please can you give a brief history of your career since graduating from the University of Birmingham?

Since graduating from the University of Birmingham in 2014 I have worked in several practices as a Hygienist/Therapist. I currently work in two practices, working two days a week in each. One practice is mainly NHS hygiene and therapy on both adults and children. The other practice is mainly private hygiene and NHS therapy on children. I love each practice equally and also have a nurse at all times at both. I have also just finished working at a prison, which I worked at for one day a week for around 18 months. Working in a prison was so different from working in general practice and was a great experience.

I have also recently applied to further my career in dentistry by applying for the graduate entry dentistry course to become a Dentist. I was recently notified I had been successful in my application to UCLan and will start in September on a 4-year course.

What do you love the most about your job and what is the biggest challenge?

I love working as a team. All the nurses, dentists, therapists and receptionists all work together to provide the best care for the patients. I also love meeting new people everyday and building relationships with patients. Additionally helping patients to improve their oral hygiene and dental awareness/education about how to reduce caries and periodontal risks. Luckily I have a nurse at both practices I work at but in the past I have worked without a nurse, full time, at a practice when covering maternity leave. This was a challenge as it was difficult managing time effectively as there was so much more to do in between patients in terms of disinfection/decontamination and infection control.

How did your degree help prepare you for your career?

My degree helped me prepare for my career by being able to treat patients from very early on in first year. It allowed me to gain a lot of practical experience as well as the theory to help me feel prepared to begin my career in dentistry. Also in third year we had lots of lectures to prepare us for working in general practice, and had previous students come back to talk to us about their experience after qualifying.

What attracted you to studying at Birmingham?

I knew the University of Birmingham was a great University with a very good reputation and it also had a dental hospital. Birmingham, being the second biggest city in England, is also a fantastic place to live.

How would you sum up your time in Birmingham in three words?

Fun, educational, and fulfilling.

What inspired you most during your time at Birmingham?

The tutor’s knowledge and professionalism inspired me every day. Also treating patients and seeing an improvement in their oral condition inspired me to continue helping people after the course.

What tips/ advice would you give to people who are considering studying Dental Hygiene and Therapy at Birmingham?

Enjoy it and give it your all. Ask for help if you need it, the tutors are always wiling to give help and advice. Don’t leave things till the last minute.

How would you advise people to make the most of their time on their course?  

Try to take in as much as you can from the tutors and lecturers. They are some of the best in the country and have so much knowledge and experience you can learn from. Also take advantage of the city and all it has to offer.