‘It’s a big family unit’ – my journey to becoming an associate

'It's a big family unit’ – my journey to becoming an associate

Dr Usman Naveed talks about how Damira Dental helped his smooth transition into UK dentistry and the importance of a good helping hand along the way.

How long have you worked at Damira Dental?

I’ve worked with Damira across a few different roles. I qualified abroad in Bulgaria and there was a lot of paperwork to sort out. Initially, I came in as a nurse to shadow with Damira. I did that for about three months, starting early 2020.

I got my GDC registration around mid February and that’s when I worked at a hygienist and therapist while I was waiting for my performer number to work at NHS centres.

As I undertook dental therapy, I learned all about the NHS. It wasn’t until August last year that I got my performer number and I’ve been working as a dentist since then.

How was the process joining as an EU member?

For me, it was brilliant. I had zero experience with NHS dentistry. I didn’t even know a lot of the terminology. I was able to do dental therapy and got help with treatment plans and extended times for appointment – so I learned a hell of a lot with no pressure.

By the time it was August, I was raring to go. It was brilliant for me, personally.

How did Damira Dental support you with that process?

Damira sorted out my position as a therapist, where I’m working now. They also sorted out a mentor for me, who is amazing. She’s an experienced dentist called Helen, who’s still my mentor here.

I have a really supportive team around me including the practice manager, Gabby, who I work with. They really put their arm around me and eased me into work.

How was the journey to becoming an associate? Have you enjoyed it so far?

I’ve loved it. It’s always what I wanted to do. I was initially scared coming in from abroad. In the UK, you’re exposed to a lot real-life clinical experience at university – you do placements, for example – so it can be daunting without having that.

But Damira were excellent with me, I can’t fault them. They gave me all the support. I enjoyed the job. With the support, it’s just made it even better.

Now we’re just working normally as associates and it’s good.

What are your future goals?

I love the surgery part of dentistry. At some point, I’d love to specialise in oral surgery. I’d like to improve my private income in Damira – that’s a short-term goal.

But my main goal is to improve my skills and to get better at every aspect of dentistry as I’m still at the start. There’s a lot of learning to do and a lot of goals to achieve.

Why do you like working for Damira Dental?

There’s a few things. It is a corporate and I haven’t worked for another corporate besides Damira, I have a straight line of communication with the managing and clinical director, Anushika. I rarely need to contact Anushika as I’ve got a great relationship with my Area Manager but it’s reassuring to know she is at the end if the phone if I ever need her.

It feels like a big family unit where you are supported. They’ve treated me as a valued member of the team throughout the whole process of going from a nurse to a dental therapist to a dentist.

It just feels like a family-run environment – even though they operate close to 30 practices! I think that’s a rare sort of thing to find. That’s the unique selling point of Damira.

Register your interest today if you would like to find out more about working with Damira.

Get in touch with its recruitment business partner Sunita Pati Verma: email [email protected] or call +44 7503630150

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