Dental Hygienist and Therapist, Belich Dental
Bachelor of Health Science (Oral Health)
As an aspiring Olympic athlete, AUT health science alumna Caitlin Ryan found AUT supported both her sporting and academic success.
“I had always wanted to work in the healthcare field, and I loved the flexibility and diversity of AUT’s oral health degree.
“AUT has always been recognised as a supportive university for athletes, and it assisted me with my sporting aspirations, as well as my academic goals,” says Caitlin who was so successful in managing the demands on her time that she won an end of year academic award.
One of the highlights of her studies was being able to gain practical experience as part of her degree.
“We were in the workplace at least twice a week and also gained experience in the simulation facility on the AUT North Campus where students gain competency in clinical procedures using fully equipped work stations. It was a great way to experience all aspects of oral health and meant I went into the workforce with plenty of experience.”
The workplace experience also helped her decide what career choice would be best for her, says Caitlin.
“I got to see all the practical aspects of the degree which aided me in my choice of workplace, and it meant I went into the workforce with plenty of experience.”
Hitting the ground running
Now working as a dental hygienist and therapist, Caitlin loves making the visit to the dentist less daunting for her patients.
“I work closely with the dentist when it comes to preventing and treating gum disease. I also specifically treat children who have dental anxiety or who need more individualised care,” she says.
Caitlin loves working in a family practice and feeling close to her colleagues, while being able to pursue her Olympic dreams at the same time.
“I’ve managed to work in my dream job in a private practice while also having the flexibility to follow my aspirations of qualifying for Rio in the canoe/kayak sprint category.”
“We were looking for someone who could relate to patients; putting them at ease and being able to communicate oral hygiene instructions. We also wanted a good hygienist – someone who has impeccable clinical skills, and can manage a patient’s oral health. Caitlin stood out straight away. She has a vibrant personality and a passion for dental hygiene and therapy. She’s a very honest, warm and compassionate person and we felt this would be a good fit for Belich Dental. Caitlin is able to see children for their oral hygiene and dental exams. It’s great that she has a dual hygiene/therapy qualification from AUT. She is a great asset to our team, as has a great rapport with both adults and children.”
Gordon Belich, Dentist/Owner, Belich Dental