Celebrating 100 years of women dental professionals
Where did you qualify? And what year?
From Manchester as a dental hygienist and 1993 and Liverpool as a dental therapist in 1999
What attracted you to dentistry?
I needed a job, my dad was working in America and as a family we were living in Michigan, when his contract ended we moved to Maryland, I decide that I would like to stay home on Anglesey instead of moving with them. I had a month to find a job. I was really lucky and started work in the Old Lookhouse Dental Practice in Cemaes Bay, with Tim Poole.
I was sent off to college one evening a week and became a qualified dental surgery assistant, as we were in those days. Once I qualified, Tim gave me a list of dental hygienist schools and told me to apply. I successfully applied to Manchester and that is how I started my career. I would just like to say that if was not for Tim who not only pointed me in the right direction but also gave me a monthly contribution for my rent and living costs, I am not sure where I would have ended up
What are your current responsibilities in the profession?
Right at this moment in time, I am working two days clinically for North Wales CDS, I am a postgraduate tutor for Wales Deanery. I am working on the exemptions project, which if successful could mean that dental hygienists and dental therapist will be able to administer certain prescription only medicines under the exemptions frame work.
I am also a GDC Quality Assurance inspector and I’m currently a PhD Student at Bangor University
Fiona’s dental story
I qualified as a Dental Hygienist from Manchester Dental Hospital in 1993 and as a Dental Therapist in 1999 from Liverpool University Dental Hospital and in 2013 I gained my MSc in Medical Education from Cardiff University. I currently work three days clinically, one day a week I teach dental nurses in preparation for the NEBDN Diploma in Dental Nursing for the North Wales Community Dental Service and one day a week I am Postgraduate Tutor for Dental Hygienists and Dental Therapists at Cardiff University. I’m also a Quality Assurance Inspector for the GDC and an Examiner for the RCS Edinburgh and Immediate President of the British Association of Dental Therapists. I have been fortunate to work as a dental therapist in practice, in hospital, the community dental service and in personal dental service and I have a keen interest in treating anxious patients with Inhalation Sedation.
I have been awarded two Oral and Dental Research Trust DCP Awards, one in 2013 and another in 2015. I am currently carrying out Health Service Research at Bangor University for my PhD and working on the proposal for the use of exemptions in medicines legislation by dental hygienists and dental therapists across the United Kingdom.
What has been your most memorable achievement in the profession?
Being President of the British Association of Dental Therapists
What advice would you give your younger self on qualifying?
Remember your value and accept each opportunity that comes your way
Which of your mentors have influenced you the most?
Tim Poole, Prof Ireland and Katherine Mills