As part of our Sector Spotlight on NHS Orkney, we spoke to Neva Spence, Dental Nurse. Neva became a Trainee Dental Nurse with a local practice when she returned to work after having her family. Once qualified, she applied for a post with the NHS and now works with the Oral Surgeons.
Can you describe a typical day as Dental Nurse?
My day varies a lot, I work with the Oral Surgeons so we see the more complex dental treatments and take biopsies of skin lesions within the mouth as well as routine dentistry for anxious patients and taking dental x-rays.
We treat patients under various forms of sedation and regularly go into theatre where we treat patients while they are asleep under general anaesthesia.
Part of my job is also to fill in the request forms, consent forms and various different computer systems to track/record people’s treatments.
How did you end up in your current role?
I left school and got a job at a hairdresser, then worked in a wholesale department until I left to have a family.
When my boys went to school I applied for and got a job as a trainee dental nurse in a local practice then, a few years after I had qualified, I applied for a post with NHS Orkney.
What is the best thing about your job?
Every day is different.
What is the worst thing about your job?
We have lots of different computer systems which don’t talk to each other so we end up duplicating work.
What skills do you need to be a dental nurse?
Working as part of a team, good communication skills with an ability to adapt to different circumstances. You also need to be able to multi-task.
What qualifications do you have?
Six ‘O’ Levels
Higher English and Accounts
NEBDN certificate in Dental Nursing
NEBDN certificate in Dental Radiography
NEBDN certificate in Dental Sedation
SVQ Dental Nurse Assessor
Would you recommend a career in dental nursing?
You are not just looking at teeth, you are part of a team that helps everybody from birth to end of life, care for their teeth. There are opportunities to do extra training to progress your career.
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For more information on NHS Careers, visit: https://www.healthcareers.nhs.uk/