INAUGURAL SPEECH BY BADN PRESIDENT 2015-2017 JANE DALGARNO
Saturday 24 October 2015, NEC Birmingham
“Good morning, and thank you for taking time out to join me at my Inauguration. I was truly delighted to have been elected by the members of BADN to the role of President. Those of you who will be joining me later at our 75th Anniversary Tea at the Hilton will have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the distance BADN has travelled since 1940.
Before I say a personal thank you to Fiona for all her hard work during her term of office, I should like to remember a few Council members who have not been able, for various reasons, to join us here today. Firstly, a massive thank you to Joan Hatchard, who has been a big part of the Association for many years, and who – for family reasons – has had to step down from her role as Finance Officer. I should like to personally acknowledge Joan’s commitment to the dental nursing profession and the Association for over 20 years. And also to Past Presidents Nicola Docherty and Angie McBain-Heilmann who again have not been able to be here but have sent their good wishes for a successful day.
Fiona, I am sure the last two years has flown by and that it will seem the same for me during my Presidential term of office. Although, sadly, the majority of your Council are not here today to say a personal cheerio, I am confident that they have truly appreciated all your hard work and effort. On behalf of the Chairman of the new Executive Committee, Debbie Reed, who is here today, and myself, I should like to acknowledge the considerable work you have initiated at BADN.
Be assured that BADN will now go from strength to strength. As the new President, I am committed – with the support of my Executive Committee – to representing dental nurses of the future. It has been a busy few months with workstreams committed to systematically reviewing administrative procedures. The Chief Executive has been asking for this type of review for a long time and I anticipate that in the near future we will be able to finalise this and ensure that BADN remains fit for purpose, in today’s dental sector, and also in the future.
Although this work is vital, it should not distract from BADN’s primary purpose of capably representing UK dental nurses at national and international level on issues relevant to them. It is essential that BADN remains focussed on its core activity and is able to support its members in understanding what will be required of them in the future.
With regard to the future and my own term of office, I wish to focus on the working dental nurse. I have been a dental nurse since I left school in 1986, when I joined the government-funded Youth Training Programme – equivalent to today’s apprenticeship – which combined the practice and the theoretical application of dental nursing, and allowed me to gain “hands-on experience” – which is another reason why I am now so supportive of dental nurse apprentices.
My ethos of life long learning has led to qualifications in Oral Health Education, Sedation, Radiography and Post Compulsory Education; along with academic achievements in dentistry – all gained while working full time. I have always been ready to take opportunities as they arise, but also to seek them out.
Although my current role as Clinical Workforce Development Manger provides a more strategic outlook, I continue to work clinically as a dental nurse assisting in General Anaesthesia and supporting dental nurse-led clinics in the delivery of oral health advice and topical fluoride application. My role as a clinical dental nurse remains an integral and important part of my professional life and ensures that my knowledge and skills remain current and continue to meet best practice requirements.
I intend to be a President who is approachable by members of all ages (as an educationalist, I do understand the issues facing younger members) and from all sectors of dentistry. Passionate about my own career, I feel equally passionate about developing and nurturing other dental nurses through appropriate clinical support – education, particularly high quality affordable CPD – and involvement with BADN. I should like to see dental nurses fully integrated into the workplace during training through an appropriate mentoring programme; and feel very strongly about the need to develop greater use of skill mix within the team.
During my term of office, I wish to focus on influencing the dental sector to ensure that BADN members, and dental nurses in general, are paid at least the National Living Wage. I am fully committed to increasing our professional voice within dentistry, particularly with the General Dental Council on issues such as CPD requirements and the Annual Retention Fee.
It is vital that BADN and the “British Dental Nurses’ Journal” meet the contemporary requirements of BADN members. With this in mind, I should like to see sections in the Journal which establish a knowledge base related to Dental Nurse Professional and Evidence Interned Practice and related research. I look forward to working and collaborating with partners and those supporting the advancement of dental nursing.
2020 is only a few years away and it is time to work together with those committed to BADN and its members to ensure that the Association is strong, united and audible within the UK dental sector.