Trainee dental nurses Katrina Jolley and Holly Ross are smiling all the way to careers as dentistry professionals.

As part of the dental team at Elbow Lane Dental Care in Formby, Katrina, who is 18, and 17-year-old Holly are both currently working towards their Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Dental Nursing – and both have their sights set on greater advancement on the dentistry jobs ladder.

Katrina and Holly

Katrina and Holly


After completing the Dental Nurse training programme, Katrina plans to move into orthodontics while Holly intends to study for a nursing degree.

Both Katrina and Holly, whose training is being provided by Progress to Excellence, have embarked on careers where they are an essential part of the dental team at Elbow Lane, helping to ensure that patients are well cared for during their visits.

Working closely with the dentist, they assist in a wide range of procedures which can include preparing the various materials required and ensuring the proper instruments and equipment are available as well as helping the dentist to record information about the patient’s oral health and processing radiographs.

In addition to being adaptable, flexible and reassuring, being able to work as part of a team is essential for the dental nurse. This is particularly important in dental surgery, which is often stressful and where the key is to be able to work quickly and calmly while coping with multiple changes of plan, often with little or no notice.

Katrina, who completes her qualification in December, was influenced by her brother to choose this career path as he too is a dental nurse. For Holly, who completes in August, dentistry has always been something that interested her and she wanted a job where she worked with people.

Although Katrina and Holly already know which career route they next want to take, other openings after completing the Dental Nurse qualification are in Implant, Sedation, Special Care Dental Nursing, Practice Management or as an Oral Health Educator or Dental Radiographer.

Judith Hartley, practice manager at Elbow Lane Dental Care, is delighted with the girls’ progress and said: “The training programme with Progress to Excellence is perfect for us as, in a busy practice like this, there is no interruption to the business as trainers Elaine Hosty and Charmian Lythgoe come out here to us – unlike the days when you would lose your trainees for a day each week while they were at college.

“As a business that puts high quality care at the top of its agenda for patients, it’s important that the same principal is applied to the training of our staff too.

“Good training is so vital that we also get our trainees’ parents involved as well. The families of Katrina and Holly are constantly kept informed of their daughters’ progress and they appreciate the honesty and transparency so they can support them both every step of the way in their chosen careers.”

Progress to Excellence will be exhibiting at The Dentistry Show at the NEC, Birmingham, on May 12 and 13. Come and talk to staff about training and careers in Dental Nursing on Stand E100.