Reflections from a Busy West Midlands Dentist (2016)
It’s been another busy year in the life and times of Balsall Common Dental Practice.
We successfully recruited 3 Apprentice Dental Nurses following the departure of some much-loved team members.
We were sorry to say goodbye this year to the fabulous Erica Lewis, Amy Baker, Sophie Cross and Lynda Marlow:
Erica is a born and bred local girl who came into dentistry as a dental nurse, via the dentist chair as a patient of ours. It was from the dentist chair that she asked how she might go about becoming a Dental Nurse in London and the next thing we knew we had recruited her as a Trainee Dental Nurse.
Prior to her work with us, Erica acquired a degree in popular music studio and record production before the change of heart that took her on her current career trajectory.
Having achieved her goal of qualifying as a Dental Hygienist in 2016, Erica departed for her dream role as a Hygienist in the West End of London. We are absolutely delighted to have played a role in her achieving her dreams and with the right candidate, would happily help another trainee embarking on a similar journey.
Amy joined the Practice in April 2013 with a degree in Theatre Production under her belt and previous experience in retail. Amy was affectionately known as our in-house explosives expert, thanks to her Category 4 Fireworks Firer’s Qualification.
Amy completed her Dental Nurse training with us and qualified as Dental Nurse with an additional qualification in Dental Radiography. Amy has now moved on to a new challenge as Lead Dental Nurse at One Dental in Dorridge.
Sophie joined us as a Trainee Dental Nurse in October 2014 having trained and worked for several years in childcare. Sophie is an animal lover, enjoys horse riding and this year after a rigorous search bought herself an adorable Cockapoo ‘Cody’.
During her time with us Sophie got engaged to boyfriend Josh, an Automotive Electrician at JLR, before buying a first home together in Wythall near Sophie’s parents. Having decided the commute from their new home was too much of a stretch, and that ‘Cody’ was spending too long alone, Sophie secured a position nearer to home as a Dental Nurse at Headless Cross Dental Practice.
We also said goodbye to Lynda Marlow, a locum hygienist whom many customers and local residents will know for a variety of reasons.
Not only has Lynda been invaluable to the practice for a decade, offering valuable cover for maternity leave, holidays and sickness, but she is also very well-known locally for her involvement with Centre Stage – our local amateur dramatics group – of which husband Brian Marlow was the founding member.
We had contacted her to cover a Saturday shift and at the time didn’t know this would be her last working session before retirement. The news reached us courtesy of a phone call from her husband. Lynda’s family and friends surprised her with a cake and some ‘fizz’ at the end of her very last patient treatment.
The impact of all these departures, coming so close together, was not inconsiderable and our investment in recruiting and training new team members made for an extremely busy period. As always our dedicated team worked hard at maintaining the exceptional service our customers have come to expect, as evidenced by the constant stream of reviews from satisfied customers that have continued rolling in all year.
We couldn’t be happier with the latest additions to our team though…
Kimberley joins us as Apprentice Dental Nurse having already commenced her training at a practice in Tamworth. She joins us with qualifications in hypnotherapy, having run her own practice and enjoys helping people with phobias and smoking cessation, a skill-set we can see proving both popular and handy here at the Practice.
Abigail grew up in a dental practice, thanks to the fact her Father and Grandfather were both dentists. She worked for a while as a dental nurse for her Dad before taking up a career in general nursing with the NHS, working in intensive care and operating theatres. We’re absolutely delighted here at the practice that Abigail made the decision to return to dentistry, starting afresh as an Apprentice. With her experience, we know Abi will make a wonderful addition to our fabulous team.
Sally joined us as an Apprentice Dental Nurse on 5th December, after studying for A Levels at Solihull 6th Form College. Sally has just returned from an amazing trip to Gambia where she and 30 other intrepid explorers volunteered, working in a primary school. Finding things very different over there, such as her experience of finding up to 50 children in a class, Sally enjoyed playing with the children and helping them improve their English language skills.
When she isn’t travelling to exotic destinations Sally is a keen musician who plays both guitar and drums. When she isn’t playing herself, she can be found at live music gigs enjoying an eclectic mix of music styles.
Another important new arrival to the Balsall Common Dental family arrived this Summer in the form of baby Jacob, born 2nd July, to our wonderful Clinical Manager Becky Swalwell.
Becky is one of our longest serving team members, having originally joined us when she was 16. She was working part-time in Balsall Common’s Morgam News (now occupied by Tesco Express), when our very own ‘Mrs Dentist’ visited the shop to post an advert for an Apprentice Dental Nurse. Becky was at the till and immediately told Cathy,
“I’d like to do that!”
And so began our journey together as Becky assembled an impressive array of qualifications on her way to becoming our Clinical Manager, since which time her responsibilities have continued to expand to include Recruitment, Compliance and Legislative and Health and Safety Audits.
Becky’s overall qualifications include: Dental Nurse; Dental Radiography; Oral Health Advice; Care CoOrdination; Dental Practice Management; Assessor and Trainer of Dental Nurses.
Balsall Common Dental Practice Website
We’ve carried out lots of work on our website this year. After dipping our toes in the blogging waters towards the end of last year things have begun to take off as our article production has gradually become more prolific.
In addition to our blog we have also added lots of Case Studies which we hope will prove useful generally, but especially to anyone thinking of exploring any of our advanced dentistry solutions. We already have plans to further improve the Case Studies section and other areas of the website next year.
“I Come From a Land Down Under” – Hannah Schultz
We were delighted to welcome regular patient Hannah Shultz this week, all the way from Australia. We love to see her once a year and always feel it’s a bit of a feather in the cap to be able to say we have a happy customer who travels all the way from Australia to see us, although the truth is she used to live locally and uses family visits as a means to maintain her link with us here at the practice.
This year we have looked into collating the reviews our clients leave for us on various channels across the web, such as those we receive via Facebook and Google. We have found that the more reviews we collect and share, the more clients we acquire. Sometimes this occurs thanks to specific comments which speak to a reader’s particular questions or concerns.
So not only do information seekers find great value in our reviews, we gain a great deal of pride as a team and enjoyment on a personal level too, in reading what our customers have to say.
If you are an existing patient and haven’t left us a review before, or if your last review was some time ago and you feel you now have something new to say about our service, we’d love for you to take a few moments to give us your rating and leave us some comments.
Leave Us A ReviewLeave us a Review – We’d Love to Read Your Comments!
What Our Patients Say
If you are not yet a patient we invite you to read a selection of our many reviews which we gather from a range of sources including Facebook and Google.What Our Patients Say
Marley The Rabbit
For those of you that saw our story about Marley the House Rabbit earlier in the year, where we stepped in to provide our dental expertise to mend a broken jaw, we’re delighted to report he’s busy chomping carrots with the best of them. You can read more in our updated blog post here:
Balsall Common Festival
We were delighted to participate as Event Partners at this September’s Balsall Common Festival. Check out our blog post where we share the story of how we hired a 6-metre climbing wall, found Balsall Bear a new home and raised £562 for the Festival Committee to distribute to worthy local causes.
Mouth Cancer Action Month
As a team we are all passionate about raising Mouth Cancer awareness. Consequently we embrace the British Dental Health Foundation’s Mouth Cancer Action Month Campaign with a great deal of enthusiasm every November:
As we approached the end of our busy year, we asked the team for ideas for our annual Christmas Party. They decided they preferred to do something in a relaxing environment. The team asked to come and celebrate at home with ‘Mr and Mrs Dentist’. Realising this would offer a great chance for team members to catch-up, especially our part-timers that sometimes feel like ships passing in the night due to their different working hours, we got work on making it happen. Mr and Mrs Dentist organised the catering themselves, before unveiling their surprise gift… a close-up magic show courtesy of the excellent Damian Surr (also known as Ginger Magic).
Read about our Balsall Common Dental Practice Christmas Party.
2017 and Beyond
We are currently working on plans to open a 3rd treatment room at the practice, which will enable us to offer greater flexibility and availability for hygienist and for dental appointments with Dr Catherine Myatt.
One big win for us will be that our hygienists will no longer need to share a room with Dr. Myatt. The new room will also add capacity to enable us to help more patients as Balsall Common continues to grow.
Keep up with Our Stories on Facebook
If you enjoyed this update and would keep up with our stories through 2017, why not hop over to our Facebook page, give us a ‘Like’ and switch on your notifications so our updates appear in your Newsfeed. We’d love to see you join in the conversation!