A dental nurse helps the dentist with all the patient care during their appointment. The treatment will depend on the patient but the dental nurse will be expected to help with areas from a simple check up to having more specialised treatment.
To become a Dental Nurse it is not necessary to have a formal qualification. It is usual that you will find a practice and join them as a Trainee where you will train on the job and or take a college course in dental nursing.
- Level 3 Diploma in Dental Nursing
- National Diploma in Dental Nursing
- Certificate of Higher Education in Dental Nursing
- Foundation Degree in Dental Nursing
Some are done on a full of part time basis depending on the course.
To train on the job, most practices would like you to have a good education background including GCSE’s in Maths and English usually A-C grade and ideally a Maths and/or Science subject. It is important to remember that your personality and suitability are just as important as you will need to maintain a calm and reassuring manner towards the patients at all times. Most people do not visit the dentists happily and for some the dentists chair can be a very daunting place so you will need excellent skills in this area.
As well as dealing with adult patients its important to remember that you will also be dealing with children in the practice and they are often not able to understand thoroughly what is being done to them so you must be able to deal with people on all levels.
Dental practices are usually open Monday to Friday (some on a Saturday) 9-5 and mostly you will be required to wear a uniform for this role. Because of the nature of the business you will be expected to be exceptionally hygienic and may be required to wear surgical gloves to risk any cross contamination.
A dental nurse role can be a very rewarding one with the patience and expertise given to you by the practice you choose.