Mia’s apprenticeship journey
When it came to apprenticeships, Mia Gartland thought hair and beauty were her only options. It wasn’t until she looked more closely into them did she realise she could turn her love of science into dental nursing apprenticeship.
I always liked the dental nurses in the surgery that I went to for treatment as I was growing up. They told me it was a great career to go into. When I was out one day, I spotted someone that had gone to my school and she was wearing a dental nurse uniform. Something click in my mind and I saw myself in that same role.
A work/life balance
A levels can be intensive, especially when you’re juggling your homework and revision with a part-time job, driving lessons and making time for family and friends. Four months into me studying biology, chemistry and French, I realised I wasn’t achieving the results I wanted. Even if I put more hours in, I knew the extra efforts wouldn’t have made me happy. As an apprentice, I feel the opposite way about wanting to put the work in.
I started out helping the practice nurses set up for our surgeries. We’d look at the list of patients for the day and work out what was needed and when. It’s being prepared and one step ahead.
I’ve learned to always be ready for the next patient. I make sure there are always trays and kits on standby. Managing this process on my own was a big achievement.
I now work independently from other nurses during some of the bigger patient treatments. I’m proud of this. And it’s even better when my colleagues tell me how well I’ve done to stay calm and professional.
I’m looking at becoming an orthodontic therapist, someone who can fit and adjust braces. I’d need to study radiography, so this is something I’ll be looking into after my Level 3 qualification.
The feel good factor
Some days are full of emergency treatments so you can’t always know what to expect or how best to prepare. Coming through challenging days like that make you feel really good about yourself. This is where you feel rewarded.