Dental nurses – how many instruments can YOU hold?

Dental nurses – how many instruments can YOU hold?A dental therapist has set a task for UK’s dental nurses to see how many instruments they can handle at one time.

The challenge comes after she was ‘wowed’ by her assisting dental nurse whose impressive dexterity means she can hold five treatment essentials, holding flowable composite and large light shield in her right hand and a composite gun, heavy light cure and composite instrument in her left.

Zuzanna Sadura was so impressed by Jodie Faulkner that she took a photo and shared it on social media.

Writing on her Instagram account @zuzia_thedorset_therapist, she said: ‘DENTAL NURSES I am so lucky to be working with so many wonderful nurses. Yesterday one of them just exceeded my expectations! She holds not just two things in her hands but five! And on top, she looked so graceful. I had to pause the treatment to grab my phone and take a photo of her. She raised the bar high! Can you beat her? I dare you!… Bravo @jodiefaulkner you are a superstar nurse.’

The pair work together at Dorset Dental Clinic, a family-run, multi-award-winning practice in Poole, Dorset.

Incredible skills

Zuzanna said: ‘Jodie is an absolute gem! She surprised me with her manual dexterity so much. I could not resist and had to pause what I was doing to take a photo of the incredible skills. I felt it had to be documented somehow.

‘Jodie sets the bar high by being extremely professional, a quick learner and a fantastic counsellor. She has been an incredible friend, keeping up my spirits even when I was feeling down. I feel very fortunate to be working with her. All the dental nurses I have worked with have been absolute heroes.’

Zuzanna has worked in dentistry since 2010. She appreciates only too well the skills of a dental nurse because she initially trained as one.

She recalled working alongside a ‘very inspiring dentist’ who spotted her potential and motivated her to pursue her dream of university.

Expanding clinical skills

Her interest in dental hygiene and therapy developed over several years as a dental nurse in both NHS and private practices.

Her passion and determination helped her to study for her dental therapy and hygiene course, and she graduated in July 2019 from the University of Plymouth-Peninsula School of Medicine and Dentistry.

She said: ‘I have a few personal development plans for the near future, one of which is to expand my clinical skills by gaining a post-graduate diploma in restorative and aesthetic dentistry for dental therapists. I am also hoping to pursue a dream as a clinical supervisor for dental hygienists/therapists at the university.’

Jodie ‘fell into dentistry’ in 2014. She said: ‘I originally applied for a receptionist role but was asked if I had ever considered dental nursing. I didn’t realise I was an eligible candidate and was very excited and wanted to learn what nursing had to offer.’

Wealth of knowledge

Fast forward eight years and she has now gained qualifications, a wealth of knowledge and skills.

As well as assisting Zuzanna in her hygiene therapy clinics, she also with the practice’s clinical director, Philip McCauley, in his implant clinics.

She said: ‘Dental nursing encourages you to work hard, dedicate your time effectively and gain so much responsibility. I am so grateful for the opportunities. 2023 brings me another year of qualifications as I train in facial aesthetics and plan on having my own business alongside nursing.’

Zuzanna maintains that, for her, it is important she always works with dental nurse support.

She explained: ‘I don’t believe in lone working – it’s very alienating. Moreover, working without a dental nurse can hugely compromise the quality of the patient experience. The time pressures are huge and everything feels rushed without dental nurse assistance.’

Happy personality

So, what does she expect from a dental nurse?

Key ingredients include being a great team player, a positive attitude, empathy, and adaptability.

‘I enjoy working with a dental nurse who is dedicated, professional, punctual and reliable. A happy personality is welcome, too.

‘I am a bubbly person, very smiley in general, so I always like people with whom I can have a laugh or someone with whom I can exchange smiles during work. After all, we spend more time with work colleagues than our families.’

And what should a dental nurse expect from the clinician?

‘I was a dental nurse for seven years before becoming a dental therapist. It has given me a good understanding of both perspectives. Dental nurses should expect respect, appreciation for their work and efforts, genuine care and empathy.’

Follow on Instagram to keep up with all the latest dental news and trends.

Get the most out of your membership by subscribing to Dentistry CPD
  • Access 600+ hours of verified CPD courses
  • Includes all GDC recommended topics
  • Powerful CPD tracking tools included
Register for webinar
Add to calendar