Dental nurse training can equip a person to become qualified as a dental nurse or a nurse assigned to work in a dental location and provide assistance to dentists. The main task of a dental nurse is to support the dentist in ensuring proper dental and health care of the patients. A dental nurse has to be active, well-coordinated, well-organized, have good eyesight, be manually dextrous, and be engaging. Since they work closely with the dentist and interact closely with patients, it helps if dental nurses are also accommodating, can get along well with others, and can help patients feel more relaxed and assured.
The term “dental nurse” is more widely used in the UK. In the United States, dental nurses can either refer to a dental hygienist or a dental assistant. The term “dental nurse”, however, if taken on its own, refers to someone with a mix of the various responsibilities of dental hygienists and dental assistants.
Due to the important role of the dental nurse and the sensitive nature of the job, anyone aspiring to become a dental nurse has to undergo proper training specifically suited for their assigned tasks.
Dental Nurse Training – Becoming A Dental Nurse
- The Role of the Dental Nurse
- How to Train for Dental Nurse Job
- Licensing and Registration for Dental Nurses
1. The Role of the Dental Nurse
The role of the dental nurse includes assisting and performing. In the assistance aspect of the job, a dental nurse is responsible for preparing the dental surgery areas and equipments, making sure the areas are clean and the equipments are sterile. During a surgery or procedure, the nurse has to pass on instruments to the dentist to facilitate faster and successful completion of the treatments. The nurse also has to assist the patient in any way necessary to ensure that patients are comfortable and have what they need.
In the performing aspect, dental nurses are trained to make and record observations about the patient’s condition, use the suction equipment, use the x-ray equipment, and ready the filling materials that are to be used.
The overall list of tasks assigned to the dental nurse varies in each dental practice or office. This is often determined by the size of the practice and the number of dentists and dental nurses working there. If there is a limited number of employees, dental nurses also man the reception desk, answer the phones, entertain and schedule appointments, charges treatments, and collects payments. Some dental nurses are also in charge of supplies and stocks.
All in all, their responsibilities can be categorized into four types: assistance in dental procedures, sanitation, maintenance of clinic and inventory of supplies, and lastly, administrative tasks.
2. How to Train for Dental Nurse Job
To become a dental nurse, you do not need to meet any formal qualification standards, aside from a high school diploma and a college entrance exam wherein they score higher than or equal to a set minimum.
After high school, they may enter a formal full-time dental nursing training program. After formal academic education, a person aspiring for the dental nurse career should do any of the following: apply in a dental practice or dental office as a trainee, join a dental hospital as a student dental nurse, join the military as a dental nurse, or join a community-based dental service as a dental nurse.
On-the-job training or hands-on training is an essential part of a dental nurse’s training process and may help a dental nurse get higher qualifications and a higher salary.
3. Licensing and Registration for Dental Nurses
After dental nurse training and before entering the dental nurse workforce, dental nurses are required to register for a license to practice as dental nurses. To get a license, a prospective dental nurse has to complete both a written and a clinical examination.
All registered dental nurses are also required to keep up to speed with any changes and advancements in dental technology, so they should take time to enroll in oral health education classes or take specialized training in either dental anesthetics or dental sedation, among others.
Job Opportunities for Dental Nurses
Dental nurses have a wide range of workplaces to choose from. Aside from working in a private dental clinic or practice, they can also work in a hospital’s dentistry department, in mobile clinics, in school clinics, in company clinics, and so on. Job prospects for those who receive sufficient dental nurse training are looking really favorable.