Melissa's Graduate Certificate took her from dental nurse to manager of oral health agencies. Now, her role is less hands-on, but more impactful than ever.
It was on a local job noticeboard that Melissa came across a dentistry apprenticeship – with encouragement from her parents, she dived right in.
“I remember sitting there thinking, I cannot come to work everyday and watch people having their teeth taken out” laughs Melissa, recalling her first impressions. But luckily, oral health grew on her, and despite shifting roles over the years, Melissa is committed to making her mark in the public health industry.
Melissa is currently working as the Manager of Oral Health Agencies (Western Victoria), for the organisation Dental Health Services Victoria. “We facilitate dental treatment for vulnerable Victorians – low income earners, people that have any sort of concessions, priority access groups” explains Melissa. To succeed in her role, Melissa must have the ability to listen, be patient, and above all, have empathy in order to understand the perspective of patients. “I think everybody has the right to have the best treatment they can afford” says Melissa.
“I remember sitting there thinking, I cannot come to work everyday and watch people having their teeth taken out!”
With the desire to move from hands-on dental assisting, into a more communications-based role, Melissa was drawn to Curtin University’s Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion. The course has helped Melissa to better understand health motivations and behaviours – what drives patients to neglect their oral health, and what techniques/habits can help them get back on track.
Studying online through OUA has afforded Melissa the freedom to keep working, and caring for her two children. Initially, she was worried she wouldn’t be able to manage the workload, but she took it slowly one subject at a time, and found that she could load on more as she grew more confident. If life ever gets too hectic, Melissa feels at ease knowing she can put study on hold, and resume when she’s ready.
Melissa sees a master’s degree in her future, but for now, she’s got her sights set on finishing her degree, raising her young children, while doing her part to help people in need achieve the good health they deserve.
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About this course
The Graduate Certificate in Health Promotion is no longer accepting students. The good news is, through Open Universities Australia, there are plenty of similar choices:
- Bachelor of Community Health – University of South Australia
- Graduate Certificate in Clinical Leadership – Griffith University
- Master of Health Care Management – Murdoch University
- Master of Leadership and Management in Health Care – Australian Catholic University
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