Recruit Training (Phase 1)
Your career will start with a 10 week Basic Recruit Training Course (BRTC) at RAF Halton in Buckinghamshire. The course is designed to help you adjust to a military environment. As well as fitness and military training, you’ll also learn about the RAF lifestyle.
Specialist Training for unqualified Dental Nurse
The next step is a specialist training course, which lasts for 15 weeks, at Lichfield, Staffordshire. You will learn the tasks of a Dental Nurse and gain an understanding of dental equipment and materials; in addition, you will learn basic first aid skills. Included in the 15 weeks you will complete a 4 week clinical placement at an RAF Unit where you will put the theory and practical skills learned into practice. On completion of this formal course, you will be posted to your first dental centre where you will continue on your training your National Examining Board for Dental Nurses training pathway, completing your Record of Experience under the guidance of a nominated mentor and witness. In order to become a qualified Dental Nurse, you must achieve the National Diploma in Dental Nursing and be professionally registered with the General Dental Council. Unless you meet these criteria you will not be allowed to practice as a Dental Nurse and your retention in the Service will be reviewed. We aim to produce a caring, knowledgeable, competent and skilful Dental Nurse who accepts professional responsibility and appreciates the need for Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
Specialist Training for qualified Dental Nurse
You must be registered with the General Dental Council before this training. Dental Nurses joining the RAF who already hold a professional qualification will comprise of one week Transition to Military Practice course. On completion of this formal course, you will be posted to your first dental centre where you will be inducted into the military under the guidance of your Practice Manager.
Additional Qualification Opportunities
Some Dental Nurses support military oral surgeons and orthodontists with an opportunity to gather additional clinical skills and qualifications which are all transferable once you return to civilian life.
Your First Tour
For your first tour, you’ll be posted to work within an experienced dental team. You’ll have a lot of contact with patients and develop a close working relationship with the other dental nurses, dentists, hygienists and other members of the dental team.
Your Future Career Prospects/Progression
You will initially join the RAF for a period of 12 years on a Notice Engagement. After completing one year’s total service, you will be eligible for promotion to Senior Aircraftman, providing you pass Basic Trade Training and a Trade Ability Test. Further promotion to the rank of Corporal and beyond is by competitive selection. When you reach the rank of Corporal you could work either in a dental practice as the practice supervisor, in a Regional Dental Headquarters or as a dental nurse instructor.
The skills and qualifications you can gain are as valuable in the civilian world as they are in the RAF – which means that whenever you decide to leave the RAF, you’ll be well placed to find a job as a civilian Dental Nurse or Practice Manager.