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The self-perceived role of sedation-trained dental nurses within a Community Dental Service: a qualitative study

Abstract

Background Dental nurses trained in assisting with relative analgesia with nitrous oxide (RA) play an important role in patient care. Provision of RA is a service provided in the Community Dental Service based in Doncaster, Barnsley and Rotherham.

Aim To explore how sedation-trained dental nurses perceive their role within a Community Dental Service, and to explore what motivates them and how they feel changes could enhance the provision of care.

Methods Twelve nurses who had experience of assisting with RA for at least one year in three community clinics in a South Yorkshire-based Community Dental Service were recruited and undertook a semi-structured interview. All interviews were transcribed verbatim and subsequent thematic analysis of the manuscripts was undertaken.

Results Five major themes were identified: 1) motivation; 2) role; 3) training and continuing professional development; 4) pressures on the service; and 5) service enhancements.

Conclusion Within this qualitative study, the dental nurses perceived that they had a crucial role in patient and parent behavioural management and keeping the patient safe during treatment. Helping patients to accept planned dental treatment gave them significant job satisfaction. Overall, this study has shown that they feel that they have a crucial role in assisting with RA treatment.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the participants for taking the time to take part in our study. We would also like to thank the dental nurse managers of the service for their support in recruiting participants.

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Correspondence to Philip J. Radford.

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Radford, P., McKay, A. The self-perceived role of sedation-trained dental nurses within a Community Dental Service: a qualitative study. Br Dent J (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41415-020-1927-6

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