The dental nurse is an essential member of the dental team. She/he performs a range of patient care services, surgery procedures and administrative duties. Surgery procedures include the sterilisation of instruments, preparation of dental materials, and processing radiographs. Administrative duties include

helping the dentist to record and maintain patient records, management of infection control and health and safety policies, and stock control.

In a General Dental Practice environment the dental nurse may work in several areas of the surgery including: reception duties (making appointments), payments and banking, and getting involved in the administration of the practice. The varying roles that a dental nurse might undertake will depend upon the practices' particular requirements.

What qualities does a Dental Nurse need?

A dental nurse is usually the patients' first contact on entering the dentist's surgery. People are often very nervous at the dentist and a dental nurse must be able to put the patient at ease - a

dental nurse needs good people skills. In the surgery a dental nurse needs to be able to work quickly and keep calm. As some of the chair-side work can be very precise, a dental nurse is expected to have a high degree of manual dexterity.

How do I become a Dental Nurse?

Dental Support Services is currently offering (an NVCI) day release training leading to examination for the award of the National Certificate in Dental Nursing.

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