A Day in the Life

As a Vermilion Dental Nurse

Steph Downie joined our team seven years ago as a receptionist. After being here for a year, she was offered the opportunity to train as a dental nurse. Now, she shares her experience as a valued member of the Vermilion team; the opportunities, day-to-day tasks and more.

Hi Steph, you’ve now been with us for a few years. When you were first considering Vermilion, what was the main selling point for you? 

I first applied for the role of a receptionist. At the time, my daughter was just starting primary school, so the hours and days advertised suited me perfectly!

Did the role and your experience at Vermilion match your expectations?

I had previously worked for a large corporate company, so had a few years of customer service experience behind me, but had never worked as a receptionist before – I didn’t really know what to expect. But, after a year of working on reception at Vermilion, I felt confident in my role and carrying out the tasks expected.

My role as a dental nurse really has exceeded my expectations. Working in a referral clinic with specialists is something completely different to the norm. I did not expect to have so many opportunities to further my knowledge and gain more qualifications along the way.

That’s great! What drew you to train as a dental nurse?

David (Practice Principal) offered me the opportunity to train as a dental nurse through the Mentor Training Centre a year after I joined Vermilion.

An in house course, this appealed to me because I didn’t want to go back to college to study. I had previously attended university, studying adult nursing, and had spent years juggling a part-time job with a full-time course and did not want to go back to this. Training in-house was perfect for me, and offered me the best of both worlds because I could continue working, while earning a new qualification and starting a new career.

As a dental nurse, what are your main responsibilities?

My day-to-day varies, but my main responsibilities are:

  • Ensuring the surgery is set up for the day
  • Checking that daily maintenance checks are done
  • Carrying out expiry drug checks
  • Completing surgical check lists (post op bags, antibiotics, tin foil, etc.)
  • Managing LDU
  • Creating surgical guides
  • Ensuring all lab work is returned.

What does a normal day look like for you?

I work with David alongside another nurse, who I divide my day with. Mornings normally consist of three surgical consultations each; the first half of the consult is carried out by David and myself, and involves getting to the root of the dental issue, carrying out an intra oral exam and any radiographs and clinical photos required. The second half of the consult is carried out by myself and involves an Intra-Oral Scan (IOS) for surgical guides, sedation assessments (if required) and answering any other questions the patient may have about their planned treatment(s).

Afternoons are filled with surgical appointments, and can vary from extractions, implants, bone grafts, PRF and sinus lifts.

What are the three things that you like about your role?

Not every day is the same. Surgeries can vary a lot, and no two patient journeys are the same. I enjoy seeing the transformation in our patients, their smiles and confidence. I also love the bond that exists within our small surgical (and wider) team.

What three words would you use to describe working at Vermilion?

  1. Rewarding – when we see the end results of a patient’s treatment, not just in their smile, but their overall confidence
  2. Progressive – there are plenty of opportunities to further your skills, qualifications and knowledge
  3. Challenging – as a dental nurse, you are constantly encouraged to think outside the box for each patient and situation.

What benefits come with working at Vermilion?

There are many benefits working for Vermilion, but to name a few, you can expect:

  • Half your GDC to be paid for
  • Many hours of free verified CPD
  • Encouragement and support to gain more qualifications
  • Opportunities to raise funds (and awareness) for charities and causes that are close to your heart
  • To join a supportive, fun and driven team of professionals.

What would you say to someone thinking about joining Vermilion? 



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