Bethany Harms, BSc Dental Hygiene and Therapy 2015 | Hygienist/Therapist

Bethany Harms 450x450Bethany splits her time between the NHS community dental service and a private practice in Sussex. 

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

I graduated from the School of Dental Hygiene and Therapy in 2015 and gained a place on the vocational training scheme for dental therapists in Birmingham. I was mentored at Sutton Dental Care in Sutton Coldfield while attending monthly study days as part of the VT year.  Once I completed the vocational training year I moved down to Surrey.  I now work 3 days per week in the NHS community dental service.  My role here includes treating paediatric patients and adult special care patients. On my other two days I work as a dental therapist at a private practice in Sussex. 

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

I love my NHS community job. It’s fantastic to be working to meet such high levels of dental need. By working in the community I have several additional training opportunities and work as part of a large dental team. I am able to use my full scope of practice and am looking forward to undertaking training in sedation treatment for anxious patients.   

How did your degree help prepare you for your career?

I couldn’t fulfil my role without my degree.  My paediatric placement in Stechford at the Richmond Dental Community clinic inspired my love for paediatric dentistry.  My community role now is orientated towards paediatric care which I really enjoy.  Thank you Dr Raja. 

What attracted you to studying at Birmingham?

The fantastic reputation of the University of Birmingham initially drew me to want to study at the School of Hygiene and Therapy.  The beautiful campus environment was a definite draw along with the buzz of Birmingham city centre being so close. Now the new Dental School has been built Birmingham will be top of everyone’s list!

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

Great, challenging and life-changing. 

What inspired you most during your time at Birmingham?

Birmingham has so much to offer outside of academic study. I was part of both the University Chorus and University Wind Band (playing the saxophone).  It was a great opportunity to meet other students and enjoy the fantastic new Bramall music building.  I enjoyed listening to both Dame Kelly Holmes and Sir Robert Winston at an event held by the university on campus – the opportunity to talk to them afterwards was fantastic. 

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

The course is challenging and you have to be willing throw yourself into it.  I also found that engaging in extracurricular activities ensured I got the most out of what the university had to offer. Having a degree in Dental Hygiene and Therapy opens many doors within the dental field.  I am very excited to see how my career develops.