Making the grade as a trainer

Written by
28th April 2017

It’s invaluable to be assisted by orthodontic nurses with an expertise and knowledge of the lingual technique.

The next step in the career progression of an orthodontic nurse is to train as an orthodontic therapist (OT). When my head nurse, Francesca, pictured here chatting to a patient, said she wanted to undertake the training, I was delighted for her. I was also honoured that she wanted to nominate me as her trainer.

Then I realised that in order for Francesca to be accepted onto the training course, I would need to be vetted too! As an orthodontist you have to take so many exams, I should really have taken this test in my stride. But this was one challenge that wasn’t about me, it was for Francesca and I found myself feeling nervous.

In the event, I needn’t have worried! We both passed muster and Francesca is about to start her training to be an orthodontic therapist at King’s College London. She will be at the university full-time for a month and then in June she will return to LLOC and work part-time as an orthodontic therapist being supervised by me. She will also continue to work part-time as a dental nurse.

Becoming a trainer to a therapist is not something I have done before. Luckily, I know Francesa is a great student and our existing, long running work dynamic will make things easy, particularly when it comes to her working to my prescription.

According to The British Orthodontic Society, more than 400 OTs have been trained and entered into the orthodontic workforce since the role was introduced in 2006. An OT can undertake a limited range of orthodontic procedures such as placing and removing brackets and changing arch wires. I am confident that Francesca will take to this like a duck to water.



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