Career motivation, expectations and influences of trainee dental nurses

Shahinaz Sembawa , Kristina Wanyonyi, Jennifer E. Gallagher

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


Aim - To explore the motivation, career expectations and influences of dental nurses training in educational establishments in South London.

Methods - This qualitative research involved focus groups of dental nursing students across training institutions serving hospital and dental services. Students' motivation, career expectations and influence factors on their professional careers were explored. Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim. Framework Analysis was used to analyse data in a five-stage approach: familiarisation, developing a thematic framework, indexing, charting and mapping and interpretation.

Results - Students were motivated by ‘features of the job’, ‘interest in the dental field’, ‘professional factors’, ‘healthcare’ and ‘lifestyle’ factors, together with influence of ‘advisors’. Career expectations involved identifying their preferred ‘system’, ‘setting’, ‘mode’ of work and ‘role development’ within dentistry. Long-term career influences were mostly ‘financial’, ‘professional’ and ‘personal’.

Conclusion - The findings suggest that student dental nurses' motivation, career expectations and influences are similar to those of other members of the dental team. ‘Features of the job’ play an important role and there is strong interest in professional development within dentistry including dental hygiene and therapy. Remuneration and the opportunity for further training were perceived as predictors of future career retention.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationBDJ Team
PublisherNature Publishing Group
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2014


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