A University of Chester student who helps people brush-up on their oral health has won a national award.
Julie Lawson, 48, was one of the first dental nurses to benefit from the University of Chester’s new FDSc Advanced Oral Health Science programme – a higher education foundation qualification that combines academic and work-based learning. Funded by Health Education North, the University of Chester programme has been designed to develop the skills of dental nurses.
In recognition of their work to improve oral health in St Helens, Julie and a colleague Joanne Dawber were awarded the prestigious National Patrons Prize, from the National Oral Health Promotion Group. Julie’s team provides training and resources for schools, nurseries, health visitors, care homes and other agencies in the St Helens area.
Julie, from Merseyside, has been using her new-found knowledge and skill-set in her job as an oral health improvement officer in St Helens.
She said: “I consider myself extremely lucky to have been among the very first cohort of dental nurses on the oral health sciences programme at the University of Chester.
“My time on the programme has allowed me to grow in confidence, while broadening my skills and studying at a much higher academic level than I have before, and it’s great to see the benefits that oral health awareness can bring to a community.
“I feel the advanced knowledge I have gained and skills I’ve developed on the University of Chester course were major factors in our success in winning such a respected accolade.”
Programme leader at the University of Chester’s Faculty of Health and Social Care, Eve Collins, said: “The aim of the programme is to develop dental nurses’ competence in the advanced skills and extended duties required to meet evolving workforce demands.
“We focus on dental nurses who already have their primary qualification, and it had been very well received by local dental practitioners and dental nurses alike.
“We are delighted Julie’s hard work has been recognised with this very reputable award.”