​Enthusiasm is a ‘big catch’ when it comes to landing that next big job and you should cast your net wide.

While not all of us have ambition to become a WAG or a contestant on MasterChef, evidence suggests dental nurses are going places. The remit of the dental nurse continues to broaden, with many RDNs taking a proactive role in pushing the boundaries to go beyond the constraints of years past.

As Fiona Ellwood, patron of the Society of British Dental Nurses, said in Dental Nursing two years ago: ‘A decade on, I foresee (and hope) that the additional duties we now have are just the beginning. We’ve come a long way since the concept of “dental handmaidens” and “dental housewives” of yesteryear when, way back in 1939, we were considered subordinates.’

Now, in 2018, many are not just fulfilling the GDC’s Scope of Practice, but are casting their net wider and redrawing and redefining the role to make it fit into the 21st-century delivery of dentistry. Dental nurses are leading teams and clinics, taking part in research and heading up oral health care projects. It may even involve retraining for a redirection in career or adding complementary skills to the role. For those recognised for their abilities, a career in dentistry can offer variation and huge scope. Others are self-starters, whose passion carries them into new areas of work.

In the July issue of Dental Nursing, we hear from Glenys Bridges about what it takes to be a lead dental nurse while Melanie Newton, a hugely experienced dental nurse of some 17 years, shares some insight into how best to shape your own career.

At the other end of the scale, trainee Nikita White, offers advice that will help anyone about to start work in a new practice – fainting in the first week not being one of them! Meanwhile, Christine Smethurst encourages everyone to ‘do the hustle’ in order to make their mark. She recently found a role that has developed from her dental nursing career nicely – as social media manager with a dental company.

Finally, dental nurse Wendy Mahon shares her experience of working as treatment coordinator at Tracey Bell Dental and Aesthetic Medical Clinic and reveals how she has trained in laser therapy in recognition of the new ‘beauty, health and wellbeing’ landscape in which dentistry now finds itself.

Easy adaption to change is sometimes considered a character trait rather than a learnt skill but, if dental nurses are to excel in a profession ever developing, then they need to discover their ‘inner chameleon’ quickly.

ECPD begins on 1 August and this has been the wake-up call Dental Nursing needed to adapt the way we work. From August, our ECPD papers will be peer reviewed so we can deliver a high quality learning experience for our reader every month.

So, start hustling and don’t let that next great job opportunity be the one that got away.