The role of a dental nurse should be carried out by someone who has a warm personality and is a patient character. Almost everyone who enters a dental surgery is unpleasant or in distress and the dental nurse is often the first point of contact. It is due to the current financial climate that this is often the case as many clinics are using the dental nurse to complete other tasks in the surgery such as admin work. This is obviously not the case across the board but should be kept in mind when trying to obtain a position in this area. Anyone who has administrative experience will have a major upper hand over other candidates. If there are two candidates applying for the one position and only one of the candidates has experience in administration then they will land the job.
Their key role is to be at hand and offer support to the dentist in the delivery of dental treatment. These tasks include sterilising and setting up the instruments for the dentist. Disinfecting the area and workshop is also essential as cleanliness is the top priority in any clinic. Once everything is in order for the dentist’s next client you should then be at hand during the practice for any requests the dentist may have. They play a crucial role in chair side assistance when the surgeon is at work.
Once again I need to state that anyone looking for a position in this role should be a good communicator and generally pleasant person by nature. The reason these characteristics are needed is due to the fact that you will be alongside the dentist while he is operating. Working closely with the dentist will require you to use initiative and possess good people skills. Many of these patients arrive at clients in pain and are usually irate. It is essential that the dental nurse remains calm and supportive. They should always keep a level head other any circumstances within the clinic.
If you are still serious about landing a role in this area there are two main programmes currently available in the republic of Ireland. One is a two year diploma in Trinity College Dublin and the second is the National Dental nurse training programme of Ireland. The latter is a one year course but employed experience along with evening lectures are required.