I thrive off the job and the company I work for

Sophie Etherington, PM at {my}dentist Padiham Road in Burnley, who won Practice Manager of the Year at this year’s Dental Awards, was recently interviewed by The Probe about her achievement and why practice management has always been her career choice.

What is it about practice management that motivates you?

No day is ever the same in this industry. You can be dealing with something different every day or dealing with a number of tasks at once which I enjoy. I also enjoy the patient journey side of the role, managing the team and going out into the community to give oral health education at schools and nurseries, or organising promotional events.

Who (or what advice) has inspired you the most during your career to date?

My ADM Heidi Helsdon has inspired me the most as she was my Practice Manager when I started with {my}dentist almost seven years ago. Like me, she also started off as a trainee nurse/receptionist. As PM she delegated tasks to me, believed in me and pushed me to work towards something I never thought I could or would do. I then stepped up to Practice Manager when Heidi became our ADM. Without Heidi, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I thrive off the job, the company I work for and I feel a sense of achievement after each day in my role.

What was your first reaction when it was announced that you had won Practice Manager of the Year at the Dental Awards?

Completely surreal, I honestly thought why me? I am just doing my day to day job without realising anything else about going above and beyond.

How did you celebrate winning the award?

In more ways than one, obviously I celebrated with my family, particularly my five year old son who was with me on the virtual ceremony, but also I spent some time with friends at a restaurant enjoying a meal which was lovely more so to be able to have some sort of normality especially after the last 18 months or so.

In what ways do you promote the message of practicing good oral hygiene outside of the practice?

We are continuously promoting the message of practicing good oral hygiene outside of the practice through many methods and channels such as social media, where we issue hints tips and advice. We attend local community events either during working hours or weekends to provide advice, and we absolutely love attending nurseries, schools and inviting children into practice for oral hygiene visits and talks. We make it fun, enjoyable but understanding too.

What are your hobbies outside of work?

I like to spend time with my son, my family and friends doing activities and I do also love going on holiday.

What’s the most important piece of advice you could give to someone trying to become a practice manager?

That’s a tough one, but not being afraid to make yourself vulnerable and to ask questions, learn the role and industry but also to work calmly and methodically as it’s a very busy job and you are always spinning a lot of plates but Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Congratulations once again to Sophie on being recognised as Practice Manager of the Year at the Dental Awards 2021.

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