Like most days, my day starts early at Shine Dental Care on the outskirts of Mansfield. We open our doors at 8.00pm so I have to set my alarm early to be ready to start work at 7.45am. At least I don’ t have to worry about parking as, like patients, we are really fortunate to be able to park right outside the door!
Once I am changed into my uniform I attend the morning ‘huddle’ with the rest of the team. This is a chance to check that everything is organised and ready for the day ahead and that we know what we are doing as a team. Then we all go off to set up our individual surgeries.
This involves wiping down all of the surgery surfaces and making sure that all equipment and materials are organised. I often work with Paul, one of the dentists here at Shine, and we do lots of root canal treatments together. That means a lot of organising for me as you would not believe just how much equipment we need to use! It is important that I get this right as Paul needs to concentrate really hard, as it is really intricate work and if I get organised it is such a big help to him and of course, the patient.
I can remember when I first started work at Shine, I didn’t think that I would ever be able to learn what all of this “stuff” was for, but now it is just second nature.
Because root canal treatments can take up to two hours each, Paul and myself probably don’t see as many patients in one day as some dentists, but don’t think that we have an easy life – we work really hard! After I have helped the patient to have a rinse and taken them out to reception to book a new appointment it is time to clear everything away. Some things are disposed of in special clinical waste bins but most of the equipment is sent it through to our decontamination room ready to be sterilised for future use.
I then have to clean the surgery and start getting ready for the next patient. This is usually the time that Paul types up all of his notes and if he’s lucky he may get time for a quick coffee. I think Paul quite likes our Nespresso machine! Some days are so busy we just never stop but we are a really good team and there is always another team member on hand to help out if things get really busy. It all helps the day to run as smooth as possible and make the patient’s experience as pleasant as possible.
The biggest part of my day is looking after patients. The patients at Shine Dental Care are so nice and I have got to know lots of them really well. Because Paul treats many patients who are referred to us from other practices in the area we also see quite a few patients who have never been to Shine before. It is important in my job to make sure that every patient feels reassured and looked after. It still surprises me that some patients come to us expecting root canal treatment to hurt but I can honestly say I have never seen this be the case, so this is one of the things I can confidently reassure patients about.
I usually have a one-hour lunch break and every week we also have a meeting and training. Another good thing about being located where we are is that there are lots of places to buy food at lunchtime. I did get the nickname of Kentucky Ken at one time when I took a liking to KFC but you are more likely to see me eating a Subway salad these days.
Because the practice is open long hours for our patients you may notice that we have quite a few nurses and because of this we start and finish work at different times. Sometimes I finish work at lunchtime, which is always nice, but others I work until 7.15 pm in the evening. At the end of each session, I have to clear all of the equipment away, clean the surgery all over again and get organised for the following day. As you have probably realised by now my job does involve lots of cleaning but it is really important.
It is really enjoyable working at Shine, and we get great job satisfaction when we are able to help patients to restore their smiles or overcome their fear of the dentist. It makes our day when we get good feedback and makes the long hours (and cleaning) worthwhile!
If you want to know more we are very conveniently located just out of Mansfield Town centre in Nottinghamshire.