2 years /
Level 6 /
/ Work Placement
A dental nurse works as part of a dental team in a variety of clinical and non-clinical settings. In Ireland Dental Nurses are mainly employed in General Dental Surgeries, Dental Hospitals, Health Service Executive Dental Clinics or Specialist Surgeries.
Dental Nurses are responsible for ensuring the Dentist or Oral Surgeon’s operating list runs smoothly during the course of a clinical session. This includes ensuring that all instrumentation is correct and has been thoroughly sterilised, all radiographs and case notes are prepared for the clinical session, necessary lab work/ results and supplies are available, the dental surgery/operating room is clean and equipment is in good working order and all general administrative and office work is up-to-date. Dental nurses are also involved in assisting with suction during dental procedures, for example, cleaning, scaling and polishing of teeth and offering emotional support to patients with an anxiety towards dental treatment. They need to have good organisational skills and have the ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.
Certain semesters of this course are taken in common with other courses.
Follow up programmes elsewhere include:
Minimum Entry Requirements
Non-Eu candidates will not be considered for this course unless there are still places available after all eligible EU candidates have been considered. Offerees are subject to garda vetting. Registration is temporary until garda vetting is successfully completed. Students who cannot complete garda vetting may be unable to go out on necessary placement or to fulfil course requirements. In such cases, students will be ineligible to complete registration & will be required to leave the course.
Physical Science Work Placement
The work placement modules are an integral part of the course. The aim of the placement is to provide learners with an opportunity to gain skills, experience and competence. Please note that with while the University will make every effort to assist the learner in finding a placement final responsibility for securing the placement resides with the learner. The learner may have to travel outside of Donegal for placement. Travel and accommodation are the responsibility of the learner.
My name is Kira Williams and I graduated from the dental nursing course with distinction in ATU in 2022. I decided to go back to college as a mature student and it’s been the best decision I’ve made! I thoroughly enjoyed my experience on the course. The course content is completely relevant to the job of a dental nurse and is very hands on, which I loved.
I managed to achieve the best student in dental nursing award, and I would not have been able to achieve this if it were not for the lecturers and their help throughout. They have such a wealth of knowledge at your disposal and helped me every step of the way. Between the facilities at ATU, clinical modules and clinical placements, I felt prepared for employment. Often times you gain employment during your placements, which happened for me!
I was worried about going back to college after not having been in a setting like this for years, however there are supports in place for such and you can definitely excel in your studies if you want to.
There are so many opportunities for dental nurses whether they be here in Ireland or abroad as it’s a skill that’s highly desired. I moved from Donegal to another county and gained full-time employment immediately after my exams had finished in May. There are options for nurses to further their education as well if they want to into areas such as- Dental Hygiene, Dental Therapy and Orthodontic Therapy. There are also add-on courses s
The main employers are:
Graduate careers typically include:
Department Administration: +353 (0)74 9186309 /+353 (0)74 9186310
Head of Department Dr Kim Mc Fadden
Telephone: +353 (0)74 9186309
School and Department
Faculty of Science & Health
Department of Life & Physical Sciences
Bachelor of Science (Ord)