Being involved in the healthcare sector in any capacity requires a selfless attitude, with a desire to support society by alleviating their ailments. I became interested in Dentistry during my orthodontics treatment. My orthodontist was more than a clinician for me, as she supported me not only physically but also emotionally by showing empathy and compassion throughout appointments and procedures. This made me realise, in a definitive manner that I want to pursue Dentistry for my professional career. There cannot be a better purpose for me than to help those who are in a worried and apprehensive state.
Over the years, I have showcased many skills needed to be an effective healthcare leader. In year 11, I led the role as the school’s health and well-being ambassador; for which I met with several students dealing with social and academic issues. Supporting students of different ages and backgrounds, greatly developed my communication and social skills. Whilst observing many dentist-patient encounters at several NHS practises, I learnt that these skills are vital in this profession, as communicating effectively improves patients’ outcomes and satisfaction. Also, having recently completed the ASDAN qualification for mentoring a year 7 pupil, has developed my confidence tremendously and increased my empathy towards others.
After speaking to a Paediatric Dentist, I found that these are the essential qualities that a successful dentist should hold, especially when treating the more vulnerable members of the community. I was also introduced to the 4 principles of healthcare and how they ensure a safe environment for both dentist and patient. Whilst volunteering at a day care centre for severely disabled adults, I found that many patients had extreme oral motor impairment as well as common dental problems such as malocclusion and bruxism. From this, I was motivated to carry out a presentation on the importance of oral hygiene to primary school students as dental health is something that can be taken for granted. Volunteering at an elderly care home for the last 8 months, has educated me on how to communicate compassionately with residents suffering from conditions like Dementia. Supporting my local community has opened my eyes to the joy of caring for others, which I hope to continue in my dentistry career. After observing my first root canal treatment at a general dental practice, I was intrigued by the skilful and precise actions carried out by the dentist, as they expertly removed the pulp tissue from the chamber and canals of the tooth followed by placing a composite filling to cover the opening of the tooth. This entire procedure was very lengthy and seeing the number of tools used was intriguing, from which I learned that perseverance is a key trait for dentists, as certain procedures can be challenging.
Having won the Royal Society of Chemistry competition and participating in the Junior and Senior Maths Challenge for 4 years, I believe I have the academic foundation to handle this demanding course. It is important in challenging career like dentistry to be able to relax regularly. Representing multiple sports teams, such as netball and badminton, allow me to socialise, relieve stress and develop leadership and teamwork skills. As a dentist, I can utilise these skills when working alongside the rest of the dental team and illustrating good team work will positively affect the success of the practice. Creating artwork through drawing, painting and henna, are some other hobbies which I am passionate about, as they allow me to use my hands in a skilful way and perfect my manual dexterity, which will benefit me immensely when working inside patients’ mouths and using tools to carry out precise movements.
All of my experiences have been the driving force to apply for dentistry and through my commitment, hard work and drive to change my community for the better, I would relish the challenge of the academic rigour of this course.
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