We do not recommend a set amount of surgery time for any trainee. A trainee dental nurse must spend some time working in a clinical setting, not just observing another dental nurse but building up real experiences. The allocated surgery time depends on the hours that person works and their ability and speed to learn new things.
The practice should organise the correct amount of surgery time needed based on that person, it is not possible to complete the eROE if the trainee is only working on reception or in an office.
A mentor is the person in the practice who accepts overall responsibility for the trainee’s clinical training. The mentor may also choose to be the students witness but they do not have to do this.
The mentor will need to check that the student is progressing well with their clinical skills, make sure that they are attending the course and completing their work in a timely manner. The mentor will liaise between the student, the practice and the training centre.
The course tutor will be in contact with the mentor regularly. The mentor is the person we contact if we have concerns that the trainee is falling behind with their work, also the person we send reports to 4 times a year. Both tutor and mentor have sections to complete. This means that we are all aware of the trainee’s academic and clinical progress.
Quite often a practice manager will take on this role. A mentor does not have to be a GDC registrant if they are not witnessing the students practical work.
During the trainee’s course they will be asked to complete and record a set amount of day to day clinical experiences that they have had at work. E.g preparing a clinical environment for the day ahead, mixing impressions, sterilising routines and assisting the dentist/hygienist/therapist.
The procedures they record need to be witnessed by a GDC registered member of the dental team. You do not have to have one witness for each trainee, you can have multiple witnesses. We advise that you think about your own practice dynamics and how it will best work for you. So for example if you have a GDC registered sterilisation nurse, they could watch the trainee carry out all the sterilisation procedures.
This means a clinician is not committed to witnessing a procedure that other members of the dental team can do instead, as long as all witnesses have under gone the witness training course with the NEBDN and have been logged onto the eROE website and have been accepted by the tutor. Each practice can have several witnesses if they wish to do so and this can often help spread the task of witnessing the students work.
Our tutored Diploma in Dental Nursing is held on Tuesday Evenings in Exeter.
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