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The scale of the problem

Post date: 28/04/2021 | Time to read article: 1 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 28/04/2021

A dental nurse was asked by an associate dentist colleague if he would perform a scale and polish for her during a lunch break. Without thinking about the possible consequences, and no doubt flattered to be asked, he agreed. While he was using the ultrasonic scaler the practice hygienist happened to walk past the open surgery door and witnessed what was taking place. The nurse was completely oblivious to this and felt that he had done a good job in removing the small amount of stain from his colleague’s teeth. 

The first he knew that anything was amiss was receipt of a letter from the GDC alleging that he had acted outside of the Scope of Practice of a dental nurse by embarking on the provision of scaling and polishing. The dentist in question also received a letter from the GDC for allowing a colleague to act outside their Scope of Practice.

The nurse was devastated to find himself under such scrutiny from the regulator. He had very recently passed his examinations, at the second time of asking, to get himself on the register. He was in a highly emotional state when he sought assistance from Dental Protection. 

How Dental Protection assisted

A meeting was arranged between him, a dentolegal consultant and one of Dental Protection’s in-house lawyers. A response to the GDC was formulated on the nurse’s behalf, stressing his deep remorse for his actions and an assurance that he was now familiar with every aspect of the Scope of Practice document. The GDC was reassured that a repetition was highly unlikely. 

He was extremely relieved to be given a warning by the GDC with regards to his future conduct which meant that he was still able to pursue the career that he loved. He said that he would be forever grateful for the non-judgemental way in which Dental Protection handled his case.


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