Dental Nurse Training and Responsibilities
The Making of Dental Nurses
Dental nurse training is conducted through formal academic and clinical training in order to familiarize prospective nurses with the clinical setting and educate them on their tasks in both theoretical and practical terms.
An aspiring dental nurse will only be allowed to practice his or her chosen profession if a formal training program is completed.
What kind of training does a dental nurse need?
This depends on the tasks and responsibilities of the aspiring dental nurse and the individual requirements of each state in terms of this job position. There is some sort of confusion as to the real role of dental nurses, especially when they are compared with dental hygienists and dental assistants.
In the UK, the term “dental nurses” is very common but they refer to dental professionals whose scope of tasks and responsibilities is similar to that of the dental hygienist in the US.
Generally, dental nurses in the United States are like dental assistants in terms of their tasks and responsibilities.
Becoming A Dental Nurse
- Tasks and Responsibilities of Dental Nurses
- What Traits the Dental Nurse Should Have
- How Dental Nurses Are Trained
1. Tasks and Responsibilities of Dental Nurses
Dental nurses in the US have a combination of tasks, tasks that are partly assistance and partly performance in nature.
Assisting tasks and responsibilities include preparing the dental work area for the day’s clinic work, prepping the treatment and operation area prior to each patient or procedure, preparing all the materials and devices that the dentist will be using, ensuring the cleanliness of the clinic, sterilizing all the dental equipments, and so on. While procedures are being performed, some dental nurses also stand by just to hand the necessary equipments to the dentist.
This helps ensure that the procedure goes smoothly without disturbances and that the dentist can give a hundred percent attention to the procedure being performed.
Aside from assisting the dentist in procedures, the dental nurse also has to assist all patients, from the time the patient enters the clinic to the time they leave. The dental nurse is partly responsible for ensuring the comfort of patients all throughout the procedure.
Dental nurses also perform certain tasks, such as recording observations regarding the condition of the patients, suctioning off debris and other materials to clear the patient’s mouth, taking x-rays, and some others, depending on the dentist’s assignment of tasks. Usually, if there is only one dental nurse in the dental practice, that nurse will have more responsibilities as they will also be responsible for administrative tasks such as supplies inventory, supplies purchasing, scheduling, and so on.
2. What Traits the Dental Nurse Should Have
In order to become a dental nurse, you have to undergo dental nurse training. However, you will be more successful as a dental nurse if you have the following useful and relevant skills. It is important for dental nurses to be organized, conscientious, properly coordinated, and have healthy eyesight. Aside from that, dental nurses should be outgoing so that they can communicate effectively and provide assurance to the patients.
3. How Dental Nurses are Trained
The training to become dental nurses is comprised of a formal academic education, which consists of both hands-on training and classroom study.
A dental nurse college course is open to all high school graduates with a high school diploma and the passing results of a college entrance exam. Dental nurse education can serve as the college degree of the interested individual.
The formal education is then followed by an actual hands-on experience in the clinical setting. This is a requirement for all aspiring dental nurses as it familiarizes them with what will be their immediate environment while working. Dental nurses are given the option of working in a private dental practice, in a hospital, in the military, or in the community dental center.
They may also avail of follow-up courses to help keep them abreast with the latest developments in dental nursing and also if they are interested in pursuing a specific specialization.
Requirements Before You Can Practice
Before dental nurses can actually practice, even after they complete their academic training and their clinical training, they also need to get a license to formally practice once they graduate from dental nurse training. The licensing exam consists of a written exam and a clinical practical test.
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