Behind every great nurse…

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  Posted by: probe-admin      4th October 2019

I find it quite worrying that recruiting nurses seems to be an ever-increasing problem for some practices. I hope that we all agree that it’s vital to invest in your team and retain them. However, many find themselves looking for trainee nurses as the only way around the problem. I understand that training can create extra workload pressure but if it’s approached well and with the help of the whole team, it can be turned into a positive.

Finding the right balance of experienced team members, whilst also nurturing those at the start of their dental career, is often quite tricky in my experience. Whilst we need experience and skills, it’s so important to continuously bring through and encourage less experienced team members to progress and take on responsibilities. Suddenly having an experienced nurse/receptionist leave without you having a Plan B in place will cause major disruption.

Supporting and enabling all of your team to train and support others is a must – having a divide can cause conflict, insecurities and “cliques” between new and longstanding team members. I’m sure that many of us have heard, “I would never have got away with that” or often signs of frustrations when things don’t go well, or mistakes are made. Ensuring that your long-standing staff feel secure and appreciated is just as vital as helping new employees settle in and become an efficient addition to your team.

One of my favourite HR quotes is “Show others in need your strength, instead of pointing out their weaknesses.”

Some useful ways to encourage integration are:

· Provide a buddy system

· Have regular one-to ones

· Use a training log to identify and eliminate recurring problems if there are any and DON’T let issues fester

· Praise and reward your senior team members for supporting and training new employees

Assembling a happy, productive team is a whole team effort that includes practice managers, nurses, dentists – in fact, all members of your clinical team.

Sometimes performers feel that they “get stuck” with a trainee but those with experience know that it can be a golden opportunity to train them to be exactly what they need. Great nurses don’t just appear. In every excellent nurse I have come across, they have been helped and trained by a dentist or hygienist that has seen the potential and worked as a team. 

By Lisa Bainham, President of ADAM


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