A more common title for a dental nurse is a dental hygienist or dental attendant. The primary responsibilities of the position are focused on assisting the dentist in treating the patient. The dental nurse prepares the patient for scheduled procedures and often brings the patient to the treatment area. The nurse is responsible for assuring that all paperwork and forms are properly prepared and signed by the patient when necessary.
Once the patient is settled into the chair and properly prepared for the scheduled procedure, the dental nurse is required to remain in the treatment room to ensure that the dentist is properly chaperoned while providing treatment to the patient. The dental nurse assists the dentist during procedures by producing any instruments or materials necessary when they are needed. Once the dental procedure has been completed, the nurse is responsible for disposing of clinical waste in accordance with proper medical regulations. The nurse must also assure that all instruments are sterilized and the treatment area is properly cleaned after each patient.
The dental nurse must assure that all of the equipment is maintained and and cleaned properly and should report any repairs to the manager of the practice. A dental nurse is responsible for turning on any equipment in the area she or he will be working in, as well as turning it off at the end of the day. The nurse must also ensure that all drugs, materials and instruments necessary for dental procedures are adequately stocked. The dental nurse should project a professional image that properly represents the clinic in which she or he are employed.