If I had to whittle what makes a great dental nurse down to one key point, it would be the ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes because our job involves interacting with and supporting almost everyone else who sets foot in our practice. That mindset will help a Dental Nurse make great working relationships with everyone they need to.
But first and foremost is the relationship you have with your clinician because this is someone we spend at least 6 hours a day with within the surgery. A great nurse is always a few steps ahead of their clinician so pre-empting what they need is great. If you’re starting with a new dentist, always make time to ask them how they like to work, how they chart and how they like things mixed.
Secondly is thinking about what you can do to make your Practice Manager’s lives easier as they have a lot of things to juggle and knowing they’re surrounded by a proactive team who will just get on with things means they can focus on the bigger picture, getting more patients through the door and helping you build a more satisfying career.
In every practice, there’s always a handful of dental nurses and we work very closely together so being able to create a really strong bond is also really helpful for everyone. Having each other’s backs if you need an extra pair of hands, having to take time off or if there’s a sudden rush of appointments – it’s a real relief.
And last but not least, thinking about what patients need is essential. I used to be quite nervous when I first started but now I always make time to speak to every single patient that my dentist and I see.
Obviously now we’re a bit restricted by COVID rules but as soon as social distancing changes then I’ll be back to my normal routine of going out to chat with them in the waiting room, asking them how they are, what they’ve got on that week; just to put them at ease before they come into the surgery.