Better Care

Dental nurses hailed as heroes

dental nurse heroines

Three dental nurses were hailed as heroes after taking control when an elderly lady suffered an angina attack in a busy shop.

Claire Lord, Jade Owen and Ruth Bentley earned a Birmingham Community Healthcare VIP staff award for care quality - as well as the admiration of shoppers and staff - in recognition of their quick thinking and commitment beyond the call of normal duty.

Based in the dental outreach centre in Boots’ city centre store, the three nurses were crossing the cosmetics department to walk the short distance to meet colleagues at nearby Birmingham Dental Hospital when they noticed an elderly lady who appeared to be quite unwell and in need of help.

Without hesitation, they took control of what proved to be a potentially life-threatening situation, phoning 999, fetching emergency oxygen-breathing kit from the dental outreach centre and making sure the lady was safe and under observation until an ambulance arrived.

Ruth said: “The lady was slumped on a chair looking very poorly so we went to help and established that she had been using a GTN spray, which is prescribed for angina. “She was very confused and barely conscious so we checked for a pulse and Jade called an ambulance while Claire and I supported her in the chair and kept a close eye on her condition.”

Jade added: “As qualified nurses, it was just instinct, I suppose. She looked vulnerable and so we didn’t think twice about helping.

“What was really pleasing was the way we worked really well together as a team, each taking on a particular role and supporting one another.”

Claire said: “Being able to help a vulnerable member of the community in a time-critical situation brings a real sense of pride and achievement.

“Our training really kicked in and the whole situation was handled fluently and confidently. I am very proud of being able to help and hope the lady has recovered well. The team’s nominator was principal dental nurse Alison Aberdeen, who paid tribute to the response. She said: “They effectively assessed and managed this medical emergency and prioritised responsibilities in a co-ordinated and seamless way, calling the emergency services and collecting emergency equipment while supporting the lady, who had become unresponsive.

“The caring nature, quick action and emergency support that was given to this lady undoubtedly contributed to a positive outcome. Well done to all involved.”

Nominations for Birmingham Community Healthcare's Values in Practice (VIP) awards run all year round so if you know a BCHC member of staff or team that has done something extra special to help you, you can nominate them.

Visit the Values in Pratice web page for more information.