Recognising our #Dentalnurseheroes

We know that there are dental nurses who do extraordinary things in our practices every day, and at the end of 2019 we launched our #dentalnurseheroes initiative in order to recognise them.  We receive 100s of nominations from our patients and colleagues and recognise at least 1 #dentalnursehero every month.

Here, we recap on our first four Dental Nurses Heroes.

Sarah Hancox

Sarah Hancox from {my}dentist Chasetown, was nominated for our Dental Nurse Heroes recognition scheme, by a patient for her determination and compassion, convincing them to overcome their fears and go to the dentist for the first time in eight years.

The patient, Kelly, suffers from anxiety and had been terrified of the dentist following bad experiences when she was younger.

Not only did Sarah manage to convince Kelly to go in for her check-up, she also supported her through a second appointment in which some treatments were carried-out. Sarah met Kelly in reception, talked her through every step of the appointment providing reassurance and mastering the art of distraction to keep Kelly from dwelling on what was going on.

Kelly said, “Knowing she was there made me feel so much more comfortable. I was sat in reception as white as a sheet, but Sarah came and got me, talked to me all the way through and distracted me by talking about how we used to go dancing and how much I love Harry Potter. She held my hand the whole time I was in the chair, describing what was going on and why but reassuring me that everything was OK.​​

“If it hadn’t been for Sarah it would have got to the stage where I desperately needed treatment before I even considered going. I still have issues and I think if Sarah were to leave I’d struggle to go back but I will make sure I go from now on. ”

Sarah has always wanted to be in the dental industry, nursing and helping those like Kelly who need that extra help and reassurance. Her hard work prevents further issues for patients, providing preventative measures like in Kelly’s case.

Sarah said, “It’s so important to form a relationship with your patients. I know just how scared a lot of patients are when they walk through the door but we’re only here to help. I want everyone to be comfortable, I will always try my best and be as accommodating as I can when they book the appointment. We’re just people at the end of the day, we’re not going to hurt you.

Betti Illes

Betti Illes based at {my}dentist St Margaret’s Road, Cheltenham stepped into action and saved a patient’s life when they went into cardiac arrest. The patient showed no signs of illness before the incident but collapsed before stopping breathing and going into cardiac arrest. It was Betti who stepped in to provide life-saving first aid and the patient made a full recovery.

Betti’s experience shows just how vital first aid training can be.

Nadine Mayson

Nadine Mayson of {my}dentist Woodbridge stepped in when she could see that her patient wasn’t themselves and gained their confidence to tell her how about an abusive relationship, which had resulted in the patient nearly being strangled the evening before by a partner who was waiting outside the practice.

Nadine immediately stepped in to call the relevant support to safeguard the patient and get them out of the situation. She later testified against the partner in court, helping to secure a restraining order, and the patient is now doing very well. We believe that this could have been the moment that saved the patient’s life.

Nadine first noticed something was wrong the moment she saw the patient in the waiting area. She said: “It’s like a feeling. You notice those slight changes in a person’s demeanour, I noticed the difference straight away like there was a change from the last time I saw them. I started talking to the patient a little bit more than I would do normally. This talking gained their trust, which then meant I could push the situation forward by getting my manager and the police involved.”

Nadine’s Practice Manager Stephanie Palmer said: “You can acknowledge a patient but not actually see or listen to them properly. Nadine will always ask about them and remember who each patient is. She is a super nurse. She does everything you could ask of her and more and I couldn’t do my job without her. I’ve never come across a nurse that’s as passionate about the job as Nadine is and it’s a privilege to have her in the team”

Tracey Murray

Tracy Murray from our Haverfordwest, Quay Street practice has been a Dental Nurse for 23 years moving from the Milford Haven practice where she got into nursing through an apprenticeship.

Working in the only surgery on the ground floor of her practice, Tracy assists with the more elderly or vulnerable patients, reassuring and distracting them from any nervousness or discomfort with a good joke and warm attitude.

In one of her nominations, a colleague had said, “Tracy works so well with her dentist it’s hard to tell where one finishes and the other begins. So much laughter comes from their surgery as they interact with the patients.  Nothing is too much trouble for Tracy.”

With her wealth of experience, Tracy spends a lot of time training student dental nurses, coming in early or staying late to pass on her knowledge and help her colleagues become the best they can be.

Reflecting on her time with {my}dentist, Tracy commented “I can’t see myself doing anything else now I love it. We can progress with the company, I’ve done loads of courses and I’m always learning new things.”

Our #dentalnurseheroes stories just prove the important role all of our teams have on the frontline of primary healthcare. We’re very proud to have such  dedicated team members, keeping patients safe, smiling and showing the way for future nurses to succeed within the company.

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