In 2020, Gemma Sessions was in the process of completing her apprenticeship as a Trainee Dental Nurse when she was nominated for a Cambridge Regional College Apprenticeship Award by her Assessor. Based on the evidence and positive comments contained within the nomination, Gemma went on to win the award for Health and Social Care Apprentice of the Year 2020.
Since accepting her award, Gemma has completed her apprenticeship with So Dental and has taken further training with the company to qualify as a Dental Radiographer.
Gemma said, “The emergence of the pandemic impacted the dental industry greatly and consequently it has been a rough couple of years. Although it has been a testing time, it has also been good to see how well we work under pressure to deal with emergency dental situations. Our response to the pandemic has resulted in So Dental being nominated for a dental award for best practice.”
When asked about how she would sum up her apprenticeship experience, Gemma added, “I really enjoyed my apprenticeship, it has certainly helped in developing my career. I liked being in control of completing my own work, in my own time, but also bouncing ideas off the other apprentices and my Assessor. One of the skills I gained through working while learning is the ability to confidently talk to others in the workplace, whether that be patients or other professionals.
I believe completing an apprenticeship is the best way to earn money, while learning hands-on. I found that learning in a practical environment enabled me to digest and retain what I was being taught.
I got to meet a lot of people during my training, including students studying the same subject which gave me an avenue for sharing information. I did find completing the classwork alongside being employed, and having ongoing assessments, a little tricky to manage but through positive time management I gained great education overall through my apprenticeship.”
Thinking ahead to how she would like to develop her career, Gemma is keen to explore educating people about dental health or becoming a Dental Teacher to support trainee practitioners entering the industry.
Gemma added, “I have enjoyed getting involved in community-based projects to educate the general public on dental health such as running an information stall at the town summer fair and hosting charity events to raise money and awareness of mouth cancer.”
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