Mohammed Samad a Dundee dental school graduate, reflects on how important a team approach is to a young dentists career.
Another chapter of my dental career has opened. After completing my foundation year and moving to Glasgow as an associate, I couldn't even imagine what challenges lay ahead. There weren't too many nasty surprises that I encountered I have to say.I arranged to go into my new workplace before I officially started and hoped to get to know some staff but that didn't happen, partly due to the fact the staff didn't really know what kind of person I was and vice-versa. It soon became apparent it isn't an overnight process to become familiar with everyone. I think human nature played a major role!
Plan B was developed; start my associate career and then slowly familiarise myself with the staff. I have to admit I was a touch nervous being the "new guy" at the practice but with being kept busy the nerves didn't really cross my mind. I didn't actually get a chance to meet my nurse for a couple of weeks as she was on holiday but it gave me a chance to acclimatise myself with the nurses that were put with me in the meantime. I couldn't find a better excuse to have a chat with them for the sake of building up a character picture of people. Everyone was really outgoing which helped in making me feel like one of the family. At the end of the day, these people will learn your good, bad and ugly habits and you have to feel like part of the family in order to make a fruitful relationship. More time is spent with members of staff than I do with family during the week so I had to make sure that I spent that time pleasantly. I always say "work hard, play harder". Whatever doesn't kill you will make you stronger.
Any difficulties? Yes, naturally there were, the hardest thing was to learn what kind of personality everyone has. If you judge a book by it's cover then you will really shoot yourself in the foot. When I finally met my nurse, I couldn't say there were any real issues with us developing a good relationship. Within a week we were going full pelt and chatting away like we were best friends. It really helped there was only a couple of years difference in age that we could simply relate to each other. She truly helped by filling me in on the good, bad and ugly habits of the staff which I found to be priceless information. The fantastic relationship that my nurse and I have developed, has ensured that she knows how I work and the running of the surgery is seamless. You constantly have to work on your team relationship to ensure that your working day runs smoothly. It's not a perfect world and never will be, but I can safely say I feel like part of one large cosy family.
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