role of nurses in assessing and maintaining dental health

Role of Nurses in Assessing and Maintaining Dental Health

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Oral health is important for overall general health and well being for a variety of reasons. Not only is the mouth vital for eating, drinking, taste, verbal and non-verbal communication, it also plays a big role in how you look and feel. So, there are dentists and dental technicians helping you in assessing dental abnormalities and diseases and provide treatment for the same and dental nurses help you in maintaining the oral hygiene

Dental nurses form an essential part of the dental team, helping to ensure that the patient is taken care of appropriately. As a dental nurse, it is important to be friendly, calm and efficient and have a reassuring and welcoming nature. This is not only important for dental nurses but for general nurses as well as they comprise about 50% of the healthcare providers.

A dental nurse works closely with the dentists, providing assistance throughout a patient’s visit. Dental nurses encompass a wide range of procedures from preparing various materials required and ensuring that proper instruments and equipment is available, to cleaning and sterilising the used instruments. Additional duties of dental nurses may include helping the dentist record information about the patient’s oral health, processing radiographs and stock control. In general dental practice, nurses duties include helping at reception such as making appointments, getting involved in the administration of the practice and collect money. The roles undertaken by dental nurses vary depending on the individual practice and interests of the nurse.

Dental Nurse Training

Individuals interested in nurse training programs should enrol themselves for a year-long certificate, associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree program in the field. Nurses in all fields of healthcare must have college-level training. Licensed practical nurses typically require having an associate’s degree in nursing, while registered nurses must have at least a 2-year degree, but a 4-year bachelor’s degree in nursing is more common. Advanced nursing professionals, such as nurse practitioners or nurse specialists, are usually required to have a 2-year master’s degree in nursing.

Nurses should have experience communicating with doctors and other medical professionals, caring for patients and performing various diagnostic medical tests. Experience is typically gained through clinical opportunities in undergraduate degree programs. After completion of training, most dental nurses are employed in general dental practice and others are employed by the hospital service, the armed forces, the salaried primary care dental service and companies that provide dental care for their employees.

However, if overseas qualified nurses are interested in working in Australia, they need to first get themselves registered with Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (APHRA) and to get registered they need to take up a short course known as nurse bridging course in Australia. This is a pre-registration course which helps nurses to get oriented to Australian health care system and is a mandatory requirement for all overseas nurses. After the completion of the course, nurses are qualified to work in varied healthcare settings such as aged care, acute care, care for the disabled, dental nurses and many more.

Bridging courses for overseas nurses is the first step towards gaining a higher qualification in the Australian healthcare system and your gateway to an exciting and fulfilling profession abroad. This also opens up various avenues for dental nurses, they can further enhance their performance by taking up certification programs in oral health education, radiography and conscious sedation. If they wish to they can even enrol themselves for a diploma in dental technology. However, it is a 95 weeks program and students are expected to study 4 to 8 hours and need to undergo in-depth training and keep themselves updated about the latest technology as well.

2 thoughts on “Role of Nurses in Assessing and Maintaining Dental Health”

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