Groups: they’re in our nature! – Julie Deverick President BSDHT

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  Posted by: Dental Design      7th February 2019

In the natural world group structures have always existed, and these have been found to serve many purposes. Even insects such as bees and ants form complex systems and societies, and animals typically divide into these group structures in order to survive.

Fish form schools to better evade predators, wolves form packs to hunt more efficiently and birds have been found to fly in certain formations in order to offer support to group members and make flying less strenuous, helping every member to fly further for longer.[i]

So what importance do groups play for humans, especially in a professional capacity? In many ways the ideologies that fuel group behaviour in animals are also entirely applicable to humans, and joining a group can bring a number of benefits to an individual that are well worth exploring.



Perhaps one of the most important aspects of joining any sort of society or professional body is the support that these organisations can provide. How often have you been at work and wished that you had somebody you could turn to? Have you ever needed advice and been unsure who you can ask for support and encouragement? Professional groups are usually the ideal people to talk to, and will often have representatives available to call, email or speak to in person whenever you need to.

This is especially important for professionals such as dental hygienists and dental therapists as they are typically regarded as self-employed, and therefore may not have the support network readily available in the practice(s) they work in.


Professional recognition

After working long and hard in order to become qualified, it makes sense that many people seek professional recognition. Joining a group is often a wonderful way to achieve this, as it tends to indicate that you are confident about your future as part of the profession and this can add to your credibility.

In some cases, professional bodies will help to advertise your services to other businesses, or the general public. This is a perfect opportunity for individuals who want to gain more visibility, and can be a key way to attract new patients.


Information at your fingertips

In healthcare industries, joining groups provides invaluable access to additional resources and educational opportunities. Many professional bodies will have their own research or publications that are available only to members, and it is within these that you are likely to find the latest viewpoints, innovations and studies regarding subjects relevant to your expertise.

Furthermore, these professional groups will often also be able to offer members their own educational events. For dental hygienists and dental therapists, this provides easy access to CPD courses, seminars and even webinars that are entirely relevant to their profession.


Protection in a pack

Much like animals grouping together for better protection from prey, joining a professional group can also help you in terms of legal protection. This is especially beneficial in industries such as dentistry where litigation is running rife, as having the appropriate support and advice in these scenarios is paramount in order to remain properly protected.

In this respect some groups will offer perks such as access to their own legal advisors or even bespoke indemnity packages, and these are especially beneficial as they are likely to be tailored to your profession and therefore offer you the best level of cover.


A sense of community

Just like our natural predilection to form friendship groups in our personal lives, forming communities in professional environments can help to provide a real sense of community and belonging. This is because you are instantly grouping together with likeminded people who share your passions, and in many ways this can help to boost your career too.


Indeed, aside from seminars and courses where members can earn CPD, many bodies also offer events and other chances for their members to network and socialise. This is the ideal atmosphere to make contacts within the industry and can quickly help you to form those important bonds that will become useful should you seek new opportunities or just need a helping hand.

The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) is a wonderful choice for dental hygienists and dental therapists looking for this sense of community. Not only does the BSDHT offer a wide range of educational and social opportunities to members, but it also provides the support, protection and advice that professionals need to truly excel in their careers.



Better together

Forming social groups is inherently human, so it makes sense for us to transfer this behaviour into our professional lives. Doing so can bring a number of benefits which, for dental professionals, are well worth considering.



For more information about the BSDHT, please visit,

call 01788 575050 or email




[i]The National Geographic. Birds That Fly in a V Formation Use an Amazing Trick. Link: [Last accessed December 18].

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