How To Become A Dental Triage Nurse

The term, “triage” refers to assessing patients to ensure that they receive treatment in the correct order according to the urgency of their symptoms.

Dental Triage Nurse, therefore, assesses referrals and ensures that patients are sent to the right place in order to receive any necessary treatment and information. Becoming a Dental Triage Nurse can be a very rewarding career choice, as you will be helping people receive the care that they need on a daily basis.

Entry requirements for becoming a dental triage nurse

In order to become a Dental Triage Nurse, you must already be a qualified Dental Nurse with a qualification recognised and approved by the General Dental Council.

There are no academic requirements to work as a Trainee Dental Nurse, however you are usually expected to have certain qualifications which enable you to take the necessary courses to gain a certificate recognised by the GDC. This can vary from course to course, however it is typically a minimum of two GCSE grades, which are a C or above, in English and Maths, or a Science subject.

To become a Dental Triage Nurse, you may also need a minimum number of years experience depending on the employer’s request.

Your employer should provide you with the necessary training in order to help you to become a Dental Triage Nurse; typically, this will be a number of training days followed by an assessment.

Skills and personal characteristics required

As a Dental Triage Nurse, you will be offering callers detailed clinical assessment, Pharmaceutical and Analgesic advice. Your main responsibilities include dealing with patients and logging their details, and so in order to become a Dental Triage Nurse, you will need:

  • good interpersonal and communication skills
  • a good phone manner
  • IT skills
  • good observational skills
  • developed critical thinking skills
  • to remain calm and work well under pressure
  • a fast internet connection and phone service, if you’re working from home

Daily tasks

While the types of cases you will be dealing with will vary, when you become a Dental Triage Nurse your typical daily tasks will include:

  • answering calls from patients seeking advice promptly, delivering a high level of service
  • assessing patients and prioritising their positions with the guidance of the provided triage training
  • offering patients the appropriate pain relief
  • identifying urgent cases with speed
  • providing callers with the appropriate contact information for other NHS services so that they may find a solution to their issue
  • maintaining an accurate and detailed dental log and ensuring that all patient information is correct and up to date
  • consistently adhering to a strong level of patient confidentiality

When you become a Dental Triage Nurse, your key responsibilities will include:

  • problem solving
  • patient care; coming to the correct solution per individual case within the triage framework
  • being able to patiently and calmly converse with vulnerable people who may not be vocally confident, through to people who maybe frustrated and in pain, resulting in a verbally aggressive manner
  • familiarising yourself with operating systems and feeling confident in using them remotely
  • implementing a policy for managing system failure when necessary

Working patterns

As a Dental Triage Nurse, you may be asked to work from home, covering Out of Hours times for a Dental Practice. However, some healthcare facilities will require you to come into the clinic for work.

After you become a Dental Triage Nurse, your position will be regularly reviewed, and so you may find that your daily tasks and working hours change slightly to ensure that the role remains properly functioning and relevant.

Career progression

Becoming a Dental Triage Nurse opens up many career options, as you will gain more experience dealing with urgent dental care as well as a better understanding of the available NHS services for patients.

If you think that you’d be a suitable candidate to become a Dental Triage Nurse, we are currently recruiting for various positions across East Berkshire. You can get more information and apply for the role on our jobs page.