Clinical Lead Dental Nurse
Clinical Lead Dental Nurse
I am responsible for making sure everything is running smoothly and effectively for clinical colleagues working in our West Country Dental Care and Brighter Dental practices each day. I visit my designated locations on a regular basis to ensure we maintain the highest clinical standards and meet all clinical governance requirements, and am there to help with any requests my colleagues may have. I am sedation trained with a background in community dentistry and practise as a dental nurse when needed, so in addition to coordinating staffing and resourcing requirements I also rosta GA (general anaesthetic) appointments and attend sessions at Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust as required.
Getting the right people with the right skill mix in the right places at the right time can be quite a challenge. You have to be pretty agile in this role, responsive to ever-changing situations and ‘bumps in the road’, but it is very rewarding. I enjoy problem-solving, listening and helping my colleagues who really are the most wonderful team to work with. I lead on our dental nurse apprenticeship scheme and absolutely love seeing each individual develop their skills, experience and practice once they’re qualified – that is very motivational.
I fell into dental nursing at the age of 16 whilst living in the Midlands. I’d just gained my O-levels, was invited to an interview at the general dental practice where my sister-in-law was receptionist and found myself qualifying two years later! I then moved to Wolverhampton Health Authority working in community clinics for children, gaining experience in orthodontics and GA working alongside anaesthetists, and treated 24 children every day for teeth extraction. At that time water was fluoridated in Birmingham but not Wolverhampton.
In 1984 I moved into a similar role with Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Health Authority and remained there until 1989 when many community clinics were closed. I had my family and then worked as a dental nurse in a Newquay general dental practice until 2003 when I joined Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Primary Care Trust. I loved being back in a community role and progressed into a team leadership position in 2010, ultimately finding myself working for Smile Together as the local dental environment evolved, still in the same Newquay location!
I am very proud to work for Smile Together – it has such a wonderful ethos and you know you can make a real difference to patients and the wider community through your work. My colleagues are fantastic and together we have a real sense of purpose.
Outside of work I enjoy time with my family, walking the dog (if she can be encouraged out), travelling and good food.
Cats or dogs? I have both!
Surfing or sunbathing? Sunbathing but I can be found bodyboarding
Manual or electric toothbrush? Electric
Cornish cider or gin? Neither – I’m a rosé girl
Mini or VW Campervan? Neither, I prefer my sports car
Peace and quiet or loud and lively? Peace and quiet can be lovely but I also like loud and lively
Flossing or interdental brushing? Both
Full on roast or salad? Roast
Football or rugby? MotoGP
Rock or classical? Rock
Under cover or outside in the elements? Outside, unless it’s pouring with rain