Angelina Nguyen, Year 12 Dental Assistant

Angie is the first Santa Maria student to enrol & complete a Certificate IV in Dental Assisting. The Registered Training Organisation she has been studying at is DNA Kingston and Angie has attended every Tuesday for the last two years. This qualification will allow her to provide an advanced level of assistance to dentists. In the clinical setting, she will reassure the patient, mix dental materials, prep for procedures, pass the correct instruments and follow all instructions of the dentist.

Why did you choose the ACCESS Pathway for your Year 11 and 12 Pathway?

I chose to complete my last two years going through the ACCESS pathway because of all the opportunities ACCESS has to offer. One main point being that I was able to complete a certificate while at school and finish school with a qualification.

Another reason why I chose the ACCESS pathway was because we have the opportunity to go out into different workplaces to gain work experience. I feel that this is very beneficial for students looking for future employment, as we are able to master the current skills we have already acquired or develop a new skill. With the additional work experience and skills gained, students are able to build up their resume.

Tell me about the TAFE qualification you are studying

The TAFE qualification I am studying is a Certificate IV in Dental Assisting. I complete this course at Belmont every Tuesday, where I learn about:

  • how to provide high levels of patient care before, during and after their treatment
  • preparing the decontaminating surgery rooms with the right equipment and materials used for specific dental procedures
  • instruments and materials used in a dental clinic.

What do you do when you are in class at TAFE?

During TAFE, we either learn our content through lectures or modules. With every new topic we learn, we are given an assignment that goes with it to complete by the due date. Many of these modules require us to do a practical on how to do the step-by-step procedures, then review our knowledge.

When I’ve got days where there is no new content/modules to  learn I would spend my time catching up on assignments to keep on top of my work or to fix my incorrect answers. My lecturers are very helpful when I have any concerns or questions and will always be happy to help, ensuring that I get a full understanding of each topic.

You had to complete 250 hours of Workplace Learning. Tell us about your placements

Over the two years of my course, I have been to three different dental practices to complete my hours.

I completed the majority of my hours with Mount Pleasant Dental Centre during Year 11. I worked during the time slots I was to work and during the school holidays to add more hours to the 250. I really enjoyed working there. The whole team helped me to get started and learn the basics.

My second placement, Attadale Dental Centre was another great placement I loved going to. They allowed me to assist and sterilise independently. This really helped me feel more confident in my tasks.

My third placement, East Fremantle Dental Centre is a wonderful clinic because it’s a small team. This means I got to really get into the work with confidence.

What are your plans after Year 12?

After Year 12 I plan to get into Curtin University to do a Bachelor of Health Sciences for a semester and then move to complete a Bachelor of Science (Oral Health Therapy) to come out as a qualified Dental Hygienist.

During the time I was completing the last few hours of work experience, I was given an amazing opportunity from the three clinics to work with them after Year 12. So, after school I’ll be spending my summer holidays working with the three clinics.

You might just see Angie the next time you are sitting in a dentist’s chair. 

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