Management Monday: Recruiting apprentice dental nurses

I, like many practices across the UK are now looking at employing apprentices. These 2 year programmes for young adults between 16 to 24 are becoming very popular. I have taken advantage of taking on apprentices at my practice. There are a few reasons for this:

* Financially it works – there are also grants available for taking on apprenticesimages-170600
* I have nurses who are competent to train apprentices
* The owners and providers are willing to nurture apprentices
* The practice needs one of our nurses to be a decontamination lead
* It allows us to give an opportunities to young adults

The important part of introducing an apprentice into your practice is are they the right person.  This can be difficult if you just interview candidates without a suitable structure. However practices keep asking me but what do you ask them? Well here is how I approach apprentice interviewing. I do the following:

1) Introduction to the interview  -that there will practical and verbal elements to the interview.
2) Tour the practice, offer refreshment
3) Practical skills test – (I like alginate mixing, bagging of clean instruments and hand washing)
4) Ask 8 competency based questions – (make them relevant to their age and experience)
5) Dictation of a suitable paragraph of clinical notes – (I normally use hygienist notes)
6) Review C.V
7) Personality responses
8) Confirm from certificates the required qualifications for college entry – (for most courses it is English and Maths at a C although D grades can be worked around)

So if you are thinking about employing apprentices make sure you do a structured interview so that the experience is a good one for you and them. I have to say I enjoy having apprentices in the practice their passion is high and they are keen to learn and be part of the team which is rewarding for all.


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