Hannah loves being able to improve the quality of people’s lives.
'The lab is a simulated clinical environment which prepared me well for placement.'
It all started when I was a teenager and I needed orthodontic treatment – I realised I would really enjoy the demands and challenges of such a hands-on occupation. If I wanted to pursue a career as a dental hygienist and therapist, I had to study a higher education course. Before starting the course, I was working as a dental nurse but I wanted to progress and develop new skills, so I could be on the other side of the dental chair, communicating directly to the patients and providing them with a high standard of care.
The best thing is the diverse range of people I meet on a daily basis. Being able to improve the quality of someone’s life, helping and educating them, gives me great satisfaction and, in turn, benefits society.
I really enjoyed the Clinical Theory module in Year 3 - it enhanced my knowledge of complex patient groups and provided in-depth knowledge behind dental anomalies which I could come across in practice.
Dental hygiene and therapy is a very practical subject. The course is a 50/50 split between theory and practical skills. I did an internal placement in Teesside University’s student dental facility for all three years. I also did external placements in dental practices in the local area. These placements really helped me to practise the theory which I learnt in my modules and apply it to practical situations whilst on placement.
The layout of the University campus is great – all the University buildings and accommodation are so close together it gives a community feel to the whole campus. Throughout my three years, the University was constantly making sure all the facilities were up to date.
I was part of the Cheerleading club – it meant I could meet students who were not necessarily on my course and it was a great way to keep my fitness levels up. We took part in competitions across the country and also supported the University’s American football and basketball teams.
I was also elected student representative by the other students on the course. As a student rep I gathered my peers’ thoughts and views, discussing them at a meeting with our principal lecturer. This ensured the course continually improved for students.
I would highly recommend Teesside University, particularly the dental hygiene and therapy course. The staff involved in teaching are very supportive and knowledgeable. The phantom head skills lab is an excellent training facility where all practical skills are taught and practised before we have an assessment. The lab is a simulated clinical environment which prepared me well for placement.