Integrity in Dental Nursing

dental nursing integrityIntegrity is a fundamental value in our roles as dental nurses, and it helps to promote the trust that is established with colleagues and patients alike. Do you consider yourself to be someone with integrity, and how can you tell you have it?

What Is Integrity?

Integrity is not just about being an honest person – it’s also about upholding good moral practices and showing others that you have a good character and a professional attitude. There are many examples of acting with integrity, but ones we may face in the dental sector include:

  • Demonstrating a good kind heart and helpful attitude;
  • Being open and honest with patients when things go awry (Duty of Candour);
  • Taking responsibility for your actions – including when things go wrong;
  • Being respectful of others;
  • Having a good, strong work ethic.

These values make up the heart of our integrity, and they also make up a large part of our roles as dental nurses as they shape the way we work and the dedication we have to our careers.

Core Values

Integrity is a key part of our core values. It can help to shape a positive and happy working environment because it garners a level of trust and respect that is reflected in our behaviours and attitudes. By demonstrating our integrity, we are not only ensuring the trust of our patients; we are also promoting a team that can rely on each other because we have the same values and ethical beliefs in our workplace practices. You may also find that your integrity has key values which make up a single core value in your daily responsibilities. One such example is our Duty of Candour: we use our honesty, good morals, and strong work ethics to foster a good working relationship with patients when we apologise for things going wrong. 


Integrity also helps us to maintain our professionalism, as it keeps us working to a high moral standard which is grounded in good ethical practices, including a strong work ethic. This can prevent us from making mistakes, and can help us to strive for an environment which protects and advocates for patients and their care as we pride ourselves on our professional standing.


Whether you realise it or not, there is a good chance that you are already working with integrity because it makes up such a large part of who we are and what we do as dental nurses. We use it every day to establish and maintain good working relationships, filled with trust and honesty, and it complements our profession often without us realising it. If you’re unsure, then you simply need to make a few changes to develop the habits that will drive your integrity to new heights, by being a good person who works hard with a strong work ethic, and who builds up colleagues and helps them when needed. This value is key to building a positive work environment for your team to thrive in, and it all starts with integrity.


Written by Natasha Garthwaite BSc, RDN

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