Amy Meier is head dental nurse for a four-surgery corporate dental practice in Warminster. Her typical day is busy juggling administrative and clinical work, as well as mentoring two student dental nurses.
My alarm goes off….
6.45am and I jump into a hot shower, then I take my dog around the lake and come back for breakfast before I walk to work.
Usually I have some work-related text messages before I get to the front door!
I'm responsible for…
I'm the lead nurse at a busy mixed four surgery practice, responsible for the clinical running of the day.
I deputise for the practice manager three days a week, I have head nurse tasks which include sorting the admin for the rota, holidays, compliance, stock, team training, audit and maintenance. I also have two student dental nurses to mentor, and I work chair-side in between tasks.
I got the job...
I've been working in various clinical roles for 14 years; I lived and worked in Bath, Bristol, Shetland and then London where I decided to retrain as a dental nurse.
I was lucky enough to study at the Eastman Dental Hospital/UCLH, a very busy central London specialist hospital.
Due to personal reasons, I relocated to Somerset where an opening became available for a new head nurse role at a local practice, and I jumped at the chance of a commute on foot to work!
My typical day...
My typical day is unplanned, as I have to be flexible with my role, and that means filling in gaps and changing my schedule at short notice.
I feel working in London has equipped me with these skills, to be able to think on my feet and adapt quickly, whether due to staff shortages, a medical emergency, or just catching up on emails in between patients, to manage my time effectively.
Today I successfully juggled two busy clinics and got in some oral health promotion advice about tooth brushing.
I advised a new mother about the "Dental Check by 1" guidelines -as recommended by the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry- to acclimatise the child to the PPE, and gave me an opportunity to advise the mother on weaning and diet advice, bottle caries and breast feeding, and encourage healthy oral hygiene habits.
I'm really passionate about prevention and getting these key messages across to our patients.
The worst part of my job…
Sometimes, the multitasking can be overwhelming, and ensuring I have the oversight of what's happening with the whole team. I try and help the nurses with instruments, etc. if I have some admin time and they are running late.
The best part of my job…
My patients and our team!
Having implemented protocols and pathways which make positive changes to the patient's experience and efficiency of the practice makes all of the stress worth it!
I am lucky to work with a talented hygienist (pictured left!) who has been shortlisted for an award, and we are going to a clinical conference in Liverpool to celebrate – these are good moments.
What's your biggest achievement to date?
I recently started the post-qualification oral health education certificate, after saying I didn't want to study again, but I know the graft will be worth it...
I have a big friendship circle, so it usually involves walking the dog and catching up on everyone's busy lives.
My Plan B
Probably a vet!
Amy Meier, Head Dental Nurse
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