Dental nurses play a vital role in ensuring the smooth operation of a dental practice. Whether it’s assisting dentists during procedures and comforting anxious patients, or maintaining high standards of infection control and sterilization whilst making patients feel at ease, their skills and expertise are invaluable.
Therefore on this National Dental Nurse Day we are celebrating not only the dental nurses working within our practices, but also those within the industry in general. Thank you all for making a difference!
As part of our celebration, we delved into what a typical day as a Dental Nurse might entail, courtesy of our Westpoint Dental Centre – take a look below!
Arrive at work bright and early for a busy day ahead! Looking forward to seeing the patients that are in today.
Start the day off by stocking up the surgery with anything we ran out of the night before. This usually consists of patient bibs, face masks, gloves and any materials the dentist may need throughout the day. Make sure everything is turned on in the surgery such as the patients chair, suction units, and the most important thing, our computers! Next, a check to ensure there are enough dental instruments in the drawers (patient check-up pouches, patient treatment trays, etc.). Then, it’s time to get the first patient in to start the day off, but not before everything gets a further wipe down to ensure that the surgery is up to our high standard and is clean and sterile.
Assisting the dentist in surgery, which involved Teeth Cleaning for this patient. This part of the role involves setting up the correct instruments and equipment, bringing the patient in, helping patients apply protective equipment for their procedure, and any support the dentist might need. Once the procedure is finished, the surgery is wiped down ready for the next patient.
Taking patient X-Rays when they come in for a routine examination appointment or for treatment plays an important part in the day-to-day role of a Dental Nurse. Observing certain rules and guidelines are key, to ensure we are not exposing ourselves to radiation whilst ensuring the correct exposure settings for the patients are selected, so that the dentist can achieve the ideal outcome for the patient.
Treatment has been completed, so it’s time to wipe down the surgery, clean all the instruments, and replace used stock. Then the instruments are taken to be decontaminated.
Arrive in the decontamination room, where all of our instruments are processed and sterilized. This is a staff only area of the practice, due to the nature of the tasks completed in this area.
Time for some lunch!
An opportunity for some downtime after a busy morning session, to eat and catch up with team members in the kitchen to discuss the latest TV shows and world gossip. a valuable chance to recharge before heading back to surgery. Other pizza brands are available!
An afternoon of seeing more patients. The dentist is doing his initial recap to ensure the patient is able to give informed consent for the treatment. In this case it is for a filling however, some of the other treatments we assist in are crown preparations and fitting of crowns, denture making, root canal treatments, composite bonding, and hygiene appointments.
After the last patient has left, it is time to start shutting down the surgery for the day. The patient chair is put up to ensure that is doesn’t get in the way of any cleaning. Everything in the surgery is then given a thorough wipe down, including the sides, mirrors, sinks, cupboards, dental unit, the patients chair, and the dentists light. Once complete, it’s a trip outside to the locked bins to dispose of the clinical waste.
That’s it – it’s time to head home after a productive and rewarding day.
Will be back again in the morning to help more patients!
Are you a newly-qualified Dental Nurse looking for your first role, or an experienced Dental Nurse after a new challenge?
If so, why not take a look at our current opportunities that we have available within the group.