How did you start out as a dental nurse?
I first started dental nursing at sixteen when I left school. My aunty got me the job and it just began as a saturday job. However, I really enjoyed it so I soon began working full time. I had to travel quite a lot so I moved practices and worked for another three years in a different practice. I then fell pregnant so took some time out.
Did you go back to dental nursing?
Yes. I ended up going back to nursing part time, working two days a week.
However, I then decided to take a different direction in my career and ended up working as a Landscape Gardener which was great passion of mine.
Unfortunately, I suffered a shoulder injury from using very heavy equipment and this meant I couldn’t continue with Landscape Gardening. Due to my injury I was introduced to Complimentary Therapy and this is where I was inspired to follow yet another direction. I became a Reiki healer and a Reiki master, as I taught other students. I worked with many cancer sufferers, the elderly and the blind. It looked like my days as a dental nurse were over. However, this changed when I went along with a friend for an appointment at my old dental practice and my old boss asked me to come back. So I did! I have now combined both roles in my life. I am the Reiki representation for Essex and Greater London and I also work part time in a private practice as a dental nurse.
What do you think brought you back to dental nursing?
I loved working in a team and I loved interacting with patients. I missed it. After learning lots of valuable skills in Reiki I now use many of these techniques in treatments. I use relaxation techniques on patients before their treatments. Breathing techniques and often just talking to them calmly can help them to relax. My boss also wants to go down the Complimentary Therapy route too, he’s seen how well it works.
What then inspired you to write a book?
So, in the last ten years of my life I’ve kept a journal. I have used it as a way to relax, wind down after a long day and to express my thoughts. I found that especially when I was working within dental practices I came across a lot of different people and circumstances every day. Often things would stick in my mind all day and I needed a way to release these thoughts. I started writing a WordPress blog and I would often write positive, happy things on Facebook as well. I got so much positive feedback from my blog and from posts. People told me that it made them feel good, they said they would feel inspired, energised and happy after reading my words. This is when I decided to make my journal a book.
What’s the purpose of your book?
It’s a self help book. Sometimes working in big practices can be really stressful and I think the best way for nurses to deal with stress or feelings is to write things down or read things. I wanted to inspire nurses to do just this, to appreciate each day and what they do. What’s different about my book is that you don’t have to read it from left to right, you can dip in and out. You can just open any page and read it. I really wanted to share my positive and happy thoughts with other dental nurses. However, it is not just for dental nurses it’s for everyone!
What has the feedback been like?
It has been overwhelming, I have received such wonderful responses. It has been really lovely. One hundred and four people came to my book signing and my boss was one of them! One patient came in my practice and told me she had bought nine copies. She is a hairdresser from Epping and she said she wanted to give them to her clients who needed a boost in life. I was so touched!
What would you say you love most about being a dental nurse?
Dental nurses help people to smile. Sometimes nurses get stuck, bored and feel frustrated in their jobs but they have to remember that they are actually changing people’s lives. They are changing people’s smiles, literally changing their smiles! I have witnessed so many patients come in with their hands over their faces, so nervous or with no confidence. I have loved watching these patients grow and I think nurses need to focus on these rewarding parts of their jobs! Everybody loves to smile.
Find Victoria’s Book ‘Swimming Through The Reeds’ at http://www.austinmacauley.com/product_info.php/products_id/310