My journey into the Dental Profession was a choice I made which came way after my first degree in Business Administration and Management, and my keen interest in being a Dental Nurse saw me brace the very cold and often lonely winter nights in the UK to attend lectures, ask many questions and read hard to pass my exams.
I am passionate when I talk about dental issues and people often ask; “Are you a dentist?” I proudly tell them I’m a Dental Nurse and they look at my quizzically because sincerely some do not know what that is, and some just don’t understand what makes me talk about being a Dental Nurse so proudly when I can ‘earn’ more respect pretending to be a dentist, however temporarily…but I refuse to ‘earn’ any accolade that is not due me because I think being a Dental Nurse is something to be proud of too.
The role of a Dental Nurse or a Dental Surgery Assistant as it is called in Nigeria is an important one, just as the role of the Dentist is important. The job descriptions and expertise are different but a Dentist would find working alone tedious and demanding hence the importance of a Dental Assistant. The Dentist is trained to treat the patient and the Dental Nurse is trained to support the Dentist in general patient care delivery, materials preparation, instruments handling, sterilization, office management and some clinical issues so neither of them burns out.
In my trainings, I encourage Dental Surgery Assistants to see their roles as a nervous patient and their dentists would see it…an important part of the whole. This advice also goes to everybody, especially those who view their roles as unimportant or as just another job, either by their own mental reasoning or by other people’s ignorant remarks or perceptions.
I am a firm believer in the dignity of Labour and it doesn’t matter what type of work you do. Take pride in the fact that you are an economic and social success; for yourself, your family and society as a whole. The Driver drives the CEO to the Office, the front desk person is the face of the organisation, the Client Service Executive smoothens out logistics for the organisation’s growth, the cleaner helps create a beautiful working environment, the kitchen lady feeds us at work, the subordinate carries out tasks that mostly makes the supervisor look good to the CEO.
Everyone has a part to play in the grand scheme of things so let’s learn to appreciate any role as an important part of the whole.
Always remember to hold your own, get creative, give your best wherever you are and make the most of what you do.
Comments, experiences and suggestions are still welcome; email@example.com
This piece is dedicated to every hardworking Nigerian, going about their businesses diligently with a hope for a better Nigeria.