Efigenia Pereira dos Santos

Dental Nurse

When I first wanted to study, I had choice to be a midwife or a dental nurse. I took the exam and I passed them both. I never realised that there was such thing as a Dental Nurse, I only thought there were Dentists. Then I found out that no one really wanted to be Dental Nurse – so I chose that. I studied in Kupang – West Timor (Indonesia) from 2012 – 2015. Once I graduated, I worked at Bairo Pite Clinic for two years as a dental nurse, then Dr Chris and Dr Shane suggested that I apply for the job at MT, and here I am. What are you most proud of in your team? I Love the Oral Health Team. We respect each other and always consider each other – and we are all women – I love that! What have you learned about yourself after working in MT? I worked in a clinical situation for 5 years (at Bairo Pite and at Klibur Domin with MT) but last year my role changed. I started working in the MT office and I realised I had a lot of other useful skills and capabilities. Together we are developing training modules in Oral Health. The models are used to increase the knowledge and skills of other dental nurses in Timor-Leste. Do you know there is about 70 government Dental Health Nurses and only seven government Dentists in Timor-Leste and not very many private Dentists! I’m sad that Oral Health is not a priority in my country – I hope that one day soon this recognition will come. I hope that in the future I can get the certificate so I can be a dental nurse trainer; but my dream is that one day I get a scholarship so that I can become a Dentist – as Timor-Leste definitely needs more.