Celebrating National Dental Nurses Day 2022

It’s that time of year again – today, we celebrate National Dental Nurses Day and all the dental nurses who make a difference across the UK. 

We hear from dental nurses about why they love their job and dentistry.

Dillon Booth

Everyone always asks what it’s like being a dental nurse, I mean it’s a very intriguing and interesting field of work to be in.

I personally find it a very hands on and very active job!

People presume it’s just passing stuff to the dentist or clinician, suction and then going home. It’s so much more than that.  

I have been nursing for approximately three years now, starting off being a trainee and then qualifying this year. I have found that it’s a school day everyday, even after qualifying.

There is always new things and products to learn to make your nursing role more efficient and productive.

I’m always up for learning new things and constantly like to ask the dentist what things are and how things work! 

I must be one of the few nurses who love root canal treatments.

Most nurses I know hate a root treatment as it’s a very lengthy and time-consuming procedure (when done correctly!) and there can be a lot to clean down.

I find it so interesting and love the whole process.

Yes, there can be a lot of things to prepare and do, but it’s probably one of my favourite treatments to assist for, especially with an endontologist! 

Rebecca Fitzsimons

I think it all begins with the environment you work in and the people you work with.

Working in a practice that promotes growth can open many doors for future development.

There are many courses available to qualified dental nurses who want to excel in their job and branch out into different areas of dentistry.

This is something I am taking advantage of as I am currently doing a dental sedation course.

No two days are the same.

This is one thing I enjoy because there is a variety of work that dentistry provides.

Being able to work with multiple dentists allows me to expand my knowledge in many different areas of dentistry.

It is also very fast-paced so there is always something to do.

The people that know me know that I am a very organised person. So, being a dental nurse, this is a skill I love to implement into my work.

This makes the job flow more efficiently and, for me, makes the job less stressful. 

Dental nursing can be a very rewarding job.

Seeing the patient’s progress on their journey to good oral health and gaining their confidence again with their smile can make it all worthwhile.

Gemma Forsythe

I love my job as a dental nurse. It enables me to provide support to my patients during something that can be such an overwhelming experience for people.

It makes such a difference for patients when they feel supported and looked after during their time in the dental chair. Through time, as you build rapport, you can see their dental anxiety lessen which is very rewarding.

Maintaining a good working relationship with my clinician is another aspect of the job that I enjoy. I try my best to make their day run as smoothly as possible.

I’ve expanded my role by qualifying as an oral health educator, becoming infection prevention control lead, qualifying as a first aider and mental health first aider and becoming social media manager for our dental practice.

I also train our student dental nurses and act as witness for their record of experience (ROE) – it is very pleasing to see new dental nurses progress.

I’m so passionate about my role as a dental nurse and I am committed to raising awareness for the importance of better recognition for dental nurses.

There is no way clinicians could do their job without us!

Mitch Greenley

There are many reasons why I love my job as a dental nurse – here’s to name a few. 

Dentistry is a very fulfilling and rewarding career.

Whether it’s helping a patient out of pain or assisting in the creation of a beautiful smile for the patient, leaving them feeling more confident. 

The satisfaction of being part of a great team is amazing – knowing you have all done your best for the patient is a great achievement. 

Secondly, another reason why I love dental nursing is the variety of extended duties available to us that I can perform as a nurse.

This keeps the job role extremely exciting and interesting.

You are constantly learning and developing. 

The growth opportunities in this particular field are endless with a range of specialities to choose from.

I’m constantly learning and developing as a dental care professional. 

Thirdly, I really enjoy how hands-on the role is.

Dental nursing is not your normal nine to five – no two days are the same.

Preetee Hylton

Being asked why I have this burning passion for dental nursing (and dentistry) is like being asked who I am as an individual. It always leaves me speechless for the first few minutes.

I enjoy the problem-solving aspect of the dental profession, as well as the role my dentist and I play in educating patients regarding the benefits of maintaining good oral health.

Everyday is a school day when you are a dental nurse. On my way to work, I look forward to the clinical challenges we may face that day. My clinician shares the same trait, which makes us highly compatible as a clinician-dental nurse team.

I tend to reflect on my performance at the end of each day and note down what I could have done better to assist my clinician, the patients, and my colleagues.

I am part of an amazing team where dental nurses help each other without being asked to, where there is open and honest communication, where our views and opinions matter and where we are respected.

Dentistry has given me the opportunity to grow as a professional and be part of a supportive community, which I am grateful for.

Rebecca Silver

I enjoy dental nursing as it combines caring for people and science.

We get to be a part of our patients lives and make a difference to their overall health. Being able to help get a patient out of pain is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job.

Not many professions exist where patients enter actively telling us they dislike or even hate us!

But through education, compassion and goodwill, it is always a lovely ending when they leave the room retracting or apologising for their past statements!

I wouldn’t change it for the world!

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