What is your area of specialism?
I’m a dental nurse working in Nick’s specialist team. I’m in the process of completing my radiography qualification to become one of the practice’s radiographers.
How long have you been working at Woodborough House?
I have been at Woodborough House for just over a year.
What is your background and your journey to where you are now?
I’ve been a qualified dental nurse for about 3.5 years now. Before joining Woodborough House, I worked at a small private practice in Derbyshire. Transitioning to this role was a big change, and it marked a significant step as I moved away from my family home for the first time, but I saw it as a huge opportunity and knew I had to take the leap. I definitely don’t have any regrets; everything has worked out very nicely.
Before going into dental nursing, I actually worked at the hospital as a healthcare assistant. After finishing school, I set my sights on pursuing a healthcare apprenticeship. Back during my school and sixth form years, I often took care of my nan, not in any formal capacity, but simply because she was unwell and mostly bedridden. She hadn’t been in good health or very mobile for quite a few years but we shared a very close bond, and I spent a lot of quality time with her. This involved being around when healthcare professionals visited to attend to her needs, and when I was alone with her, I’d do everything I could to help her. Bringing her happiness made me happy too. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford to continue as a healthcare assistant after completing my apprenticeship.
I knew I wanted to remain in the healthcare field. Luckily, a local dental practice in my area was looking for an apprentice, and this opportunity was closer to home and came with better benefits so I decided to shift my focus to dentistry. I successfully completed my apprenticeship and obtained my qualification in 2020, right in the midst of the first COVID lockdown. From there, I continued to work my way up, and after 4.5 years after I started my training, I became head nurse.
My journey from Derbyshire to Woodborough House began about two years ago when I started on a seven year, online degree in health science and medicine. As part of the degree, I needed to visit Oxford periodically to access their lecture rooms, library, and other resources. So, I found myself travelling to Oxford quite frequently at weekends. After a while, I realised that I needed to be closer to Oxford, so I began looking for job opportunities in Berkshire.
While browsing potential new jobs, I stumbled upon a role at Woodborough House and decided to apply. Sarah contacted me and from our very first phone call, we hit it off. It felt like we instantly connected. When I visited the practice in person, I knew right away that this was the right move for me.
What is it about your job that you enjoy the most?
For me, it’s all about that moment when a patient completes their treatment, especially if it’s been a long journey. You see how happy they are, and it’s incredibly rewarding. Some of them come to us very self-conscious about their teeth, some even avoid smiling because of it but after their treatment, it’s like a transformation! Hearing how confident they feel and how it’s changed their life is amazing. Knowing that you’ve played a role in that journey is truly fulfilling.
I also love the entire process of making it happen for our patients. At Woodborough House, dental nurses are hands-on in every stage, from planning to treatment. You really feel like you’re part of their journey. It’s about providing the best care possible and ensuring they leave as happy as can be.
Where would you like your career to go next?
I work alongside Nick, primarily assisting him with guided implant surgery. I would like to eventually learn more about the planning aspect of guided surgery and become more involved in the digital pathways for patients. I’m really lucky working here at Woodborough House because I have the privilege of learning from Nick who is renowned in his field and have access to top-tier technology. There’s not really anywhere better to be working than where I am at the moment. I’m excited to be in a place where I’ll never run out of opportunities to learn and grow.
While my long-term focus is completing my degree, I’m committed to contributing to the team in any way I can over the next couple of years. Once I’ve finished my radiography course, I plan to refresh my phlebotomy training to include blood collection and explore training in IV sedation. My aim is to integrate myself fully into the team and absorb as much knowledge and expertise as possible.
What is it about the WH culture that you like?
Woodborough’s core values, including respect and a genuine concern for patients, resonate deeply with my personal values. What sets this practice apart is the strong sense of community that permeates through the team. It’s not solely about delivering exceptional patient care; it’s equally about looking out for one another. Here, I’ve found a group of colleagues with whom I can comfortably share personal thoughts or simply let off steam. We’re essentially like an extended family, and that’s something truly special.
How would you describe WH in 3 words?
How do you unwind outside of work?
I have various ways I like to unwind, depending on how I’m feeling at the time. I love reading and absolutely adore discovering new books. I’m also a huge music fan and enjoy going to concerts with family and friends. Despite it sounding quite energetic, I find it’s a great way for me to relax, switch off, and enjoy my time. I’m quite into art as well, so I often attend festivals and similar events. Additionally, I like to stay active. On weekends, when I visit my parents, I go for leisurely walks with my mum. We grab a coffee and chat about the books we’ve been reading, among other things.
What’s your favourite film or book?
I read a book recently that was a bit of an unexpected choice for me. I’m typically more into sci-fi thriller novels rather than the whole ‘live your life positively’ genre. However, I must say, this book turned out to be quite the enjoyable surprise. The book is called ‘Think Like a Monk’ by Jay Shetty, although I would say my all time favourite book is ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen.
Well, my all-time favourite movie must be ‘Pearl Harbor’. I always come back to it because it left quite an impression on me. My dad has always been into war films, and I can still vividly recall the first time I watched it with him when I was just a child. We were learning about World War II at the time and my dad suggested we give it a watch to help me get a better grasp of the historical context. I was a bit apprehensive at first because I wasn’t exactly a fan of gunfights and all that action stuff, but as it turns out, ‘Pearl Harbor’ was exceptionally well-made and it really did help my understanding.
What’s your favourite meal?
I love lasagne. I’m literally like Garfield, I could eat it all day long! My mum taught me how to make it, and it was one of the first dishes I ever cooked for my family. It does take quite a while to prepare, but now I’ve got my routine down, and I know exactly what I’m doing. I usually give myself a couple of hours to get everything ready. And then, of course, you’ve got to have all the sides, like chips, salad, garlic bread, and all that stuff. Lasagne has some of the best things in it like pasta and cheese, you just can’t really go wrong with it.
Who did you look up to most when you were a child?
My parents, absolutely! I always looked up to my nana as well, but my mum and my dad were inspirational to me for different reasons. My dad’s work ethic is absolutely incredible. He never does anything half-heartedly and always does his best to help people and make their lives easier. My mum on the other hand always displayed a nurturing, compassionate, and caring attitude. We have a super tight-knit family, and I’m extremely close to my parents. I visit them at least once a month, and I’m deeply grateful for everything they’ve done for my siblings and me.
What was the last picture you took on your phone?
The most recent photo I took on my phone captures a memorable moment from the weekend. My sister, mum and I went to the cinema to see the Taylor Swift tour movie. I couldn’t resist capturing the cinema’s fantastic lighting and set-up for the film. It was so good! I was transported back to my 12-year-old self in the back of the cinema. It was very nostalgic.
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