Inspiring Speakers and Relatable Topics – Dental Nurses

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  Posted by: Dental Design      29th September 2019

The British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show 2019 provided the perfect platform for dental nurses to get up-to-date on the latest concepts and career development pathways. The Dental Nurses’ Forum, supported by the British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN), presented a programme brimming with ideas designed to inspire delegates.

Highlights included Jacqui Elsden’s Friday session, titled “Dental Nursing: What Lies ahead?”. Jacqui, who is president-elect of the BADN, started with a look back at her own career, considering how the past has shaped the future. She discussed pre-registration and showed a photo taken during her training at King’s College Hospital Dental School in the Eighties with the dental nurses wearing paper hats!

Moving on to mandatory registration in 2008, she showed that with recognition and regulation came more responsibility. Jacqui then discussed her role with Health Education England (HEE), in particular her involvement with the HEE’s Advancing Dental Care (ADC) Education & Training Review, which was commissioned to develop an education and training infrastructure that supplies a dental workforce with the skills to respond to changing needs.

What could the future look like? Well, it could mean multiple pathways and entry points, to create a multi-skilled workforce, she said. Dental nurses should be able to move more easily into dental hygienist and dental therapist roles, should they wish. The possibility of a district dental nurse role was also discussed, as were non-clinical dental nurse opportunities such as mentoring and research. The main message Jacqui wanted delegates to leave with was to “get involved!”

Jaqcui’s presentation certainly struck a chord with Laura Hempleman, DCP Manager for NHS Lothian. She said:

“It was a fantastic talk, with an inspirational speaker who sparked my enthusiasm for the future. I was sitting next to a colleague who was considering leaving the profession, this session may have changed all that.”

Kicking Saturday morning off was Peter Whiteford, who discussed “Sepsis In The Dental Setting”, supported by SBDN. With more research needed – it is still unknown why, in cases of sepsis, the body’s immune system attacks the organs and tissues – and high-profile cases in the media, no wonder it was standing room only.

Peter played a hard-hitting video – which one delegate described as “totally devastating” – showing how sepsis can change a life. Although he reassured the audience that the risk of sepsis from a dental bacterial infection is low, he outlined the importance of everyone in a practice knowing how to spot it – crucially, symptoms can present differently in adults and children. He then went through a scenario, to show a possible dental team approach to sepsis. What is key, he said is that “we are all on the same page”.

Following Peter was Maxwell O’Neill, who discussed the challenges of dealing with difficult people, sponsored by Waterpik. Maxwell gave the audience tips about how to cope with people who irritate you and told them, “self-control is your best superpower.” He also told delegates how the fear of being wrong and not knowing your own worth can hold you back in your career; one of the most common mistakes is thinking that, “if I work hard, I will be noticed and I will be rewarded” – be your own cheerleader. Being mindful of your body language, mood and how you communicate is important and also to stop making assumptions – try to look at things from a different angle. A positive attitude is “contagious” Maxwell said, but “don’t wait to catch it from others, be a carrier”.

Following the session, one dental nurse commented:

“It has been fantastic. The knowledge shared was brilliant, clear and concise. I can’t believe what an impact it can have on you and your practice by making such simple mindful changes. Wow! I’ll definitely be back to the show next year!”

Other areas covered were bullying, dealing with gossip and how to ask for a raise. The main message he wanted to leave delegates with is than an unpleasant experience does not have to destroy you, you come back stronger. In fact, it can even help you realise your own potential.

Other sessions covered everything from a dental nurse’s role in dental implantology to improving patient safety. Also, aside from the hours of enhanced CPD, the trade floor had a real buzz. Dental nurses were able to browse the latest products and equipment, with on-stand learning adding to the experience. In addition, the show was the ideal place to socialise and network with friends old and new. What’s more, the Dental Awards were enjoyed by several lucky teams who managed to get tickets – many congratulations to the Dental Nurse of the Year – Siana Garstang!

About the event, delegate Melissa Mickewicz, dental nurse from Shrewsbury & Telford NHS Trust said:

“The show has provided good lectures with plenty of exhibitors and great freebies.”

Melissa Chase, dental nurse from Sherwood House Dental Practice, added:

“Extremely helpful staff all-round. The services and information given from the stands and lectures have helped me with understanding things in different perspectives and taught me new things. I can’t wait to learn more next year!”

The British Dental Conference and Dentistry Show, co-located with DTS.


For all the latest information on the next event, visit, call 020 7348 5270 or email



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