Student perspective: Anita Patel on studying Dental Hygiene MSc
12 May 2022
After qualifying and working for several years, Anita Patel was looking to further develop her skills but couldn't find the right course, until she found the Dental Hygiene MSc here at the UCL Eastman. Anita shares her experiences of studying, working and gaining confidence.
What made you choose the Dental Hygiene MSc?
“I qualified in 2015 and after that worked for several years. I found myself feeling as though I didn't know enough, especially in evidence-based practice. After looking around, I couldn’t quite find what I was looking for, even in the CPD space. Then I saw an advert for the new Master’s in Dental Hygiene at the Eastman and knew I wanted to apply!”
Congratulations on your upcoming graduation this year! Can you tell us more about your experience?
“It has been an amazing journey. It was not an easy three years though. At times I thought it might be too much. Now looking back it's one of the best learning experiences I’ve ever had. Even though I found the course very challenging, my confidence has soared - within a year I felt so much more confident in what I do and how I talk to my patients about their treatment.
You are a busy clinical practitioner. How did you find the combination of study and work?
“It’s blended learning and the majority was online, which was very interactive. We’d have weekly meetings and go over the work we needed to do and present. Integrated into the course is a two-week residential where we'd come to UCL every day 9am-5pm and do our sessions in-person. The whole course allowed flexibility - everyone in my cohort carried on working their day jobs and still managed to achieve what was needed within the timeframe. Overall, it’s a very manageable and enjoyable course.
The programme leaders, Jeanie Suvan and Ruth Glover, were always there to contact whenever necessary. My fellow students and I were a small group, so we became very good friends, and all learned from and supported each other - we are all still in contact with each other.
Anything else you would like to add or tell other clinicians who are thinking about the course?
“I feel so privileged to have been in this first cohort - I tell every hygienist I meet about this course! It has really helped me grow as a clinician. I can honestly say it’s one of the best learning experiences I’ve had.”