Christine: Head Dental Nurse

OUR LAST BLOG POST WAS ABOUT THE DUTIES A DENTAL NURSE has at your dental practice. In our latest blog post we catch up with a Christine Franks, our head dental nurse, to find out what dental nursing at PMA Dental Care, Gravesend means to her personally.

Christine Talks

Christine tells us about her job as head dental nurse.

Can you sum up your main responsibilities?

My main responsibilities include maintaining the surgery, making sure all the instruments are cleaned and sterilised. Supporting the dentist and patient during any treatment. I work as part of the whole practice team to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible.

Did you require further education to get to your current position?

Initially training was provided on the job but I then took an exam, the National Exam of Dental Nursing. This allows me to be called a Dental Nurse and register with the General Dental Council. A few years go I did further training and an exam, the Certificate in Dental Radiography, so I am now able to take X-rays. I am constantly training both at work and attending external courses to further my skills.

What are the working hours like?

I typically work 38 hours a week. I do a shift system, so some days we start at 8.00am and some days we finish at 7.30pm.

What are the pluses and minuses of working as a dental nurse?

The pluses are that I get the experience of working in a medical setting, which increases my knowledge. I am learning something new every day. I get great satisfaction from helping the patients and seeing a great result at the end of their treatment. I would say the only downsides to the job are the pressure of time as we do not always know what the next patient might have wrong with them. The pay wasn’t fantastic when I first started.

What has been your greatest achievement of your career?

Achieving a distinctions in two of the certificate courses I took part in for the Faculty of General Dental Practice.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

I see myself continuing my work with the Dental nurse exam board and maybe becoming an examiner. I still see myself working in the surgery as that is what I really enjoy.

Do you think the benefits and rewards match up to your expectations?

To be able to receive good benefits, you do have to work hard. I believe that the benefits reflect the role that I am in.

How are the social aspects at your workplace?

The social aspects are good. I have friends at my office and we do get together from time to time.

Do YOU have a question for Christine?

While you read Christine’s questions and answers maybe you thought of your own question for her. If you did then please enter it in the comments section below and we’ll get Christine to answer it for you. You can also send a private question or comment to us on our Facebook page.