Sally is our fantastic Decontamination Nurse!
How long have you been working at Woodborough House?
I’ve been here nearly a year.
What is your role at Woodborough House?
I work all week in the decontamination room, where instruments from the surgeries are processed and prepared for their next use. I am responsible for cleaning all of the instruments that come into my room from the dental team that work here. It’s a very thorough process. I wash all the instruments, then put them through the ultrasonic machine, sort through them all when they come out and then I put them in the autoclave so that they can then be sterilised by steam. I then distribute them back to whichever dentist needs them.
To help me get the right instruments back to the right people the trays and instruments are colour coded. Because we have many different dentists here with different specialisms – periodontists, orthodontists etc, everyone has different items on their tray. But I now remember who should be getting what. I’ve had to learn all of this over the last year. It was a bit overwhelming at the start, but I’ve always got help from the dental nurses.
Some days I can be cleaning up after 20 appointments, which is very non-stop. But I prefer to be busy. I try to do a bit of everything to be helpful. Sometimes I sit with patients if they have had treatment and a dental nurse needs extra help. I like to be on the go all the time, so I always find something to do. If there’s something to do and I see it, I’ll go off and get it done when I get a spare five minutes.
What is it about your job that you enjoy the most?
The satisfaction of keeping my room clean. I’m very methodical in my approach, so I wouldn’t be happy if anyone came in and messed my routine up. I do things on a system and then everything’s clean and tidy.
I really do enjoy my job. It’s very varied and I have plenty of contact with the staff and the patients as well.
Have you had any particularly memorable experiences in your career?
My biggest achievement is that Nick wants me to move to his own decontamination room full time. I was chuffed when I was asked about that.
Where would you like your career to go next?
I’m very happy at Woodborough House and I’m being given opportunities, such as working more closely with Nick who’s the top surgeon. They have asked me to be a dental nurse which would require training, but I enjoy what I do so I’ll stay with that for now. I’m going to grab this new role with both hands and see where it goes.
What is it about the culture at Woodborough House that you like?
It’s a brilliant team here. We all work well with each other and help each other out. Sarah and Nick are fantastic bosses, they go the extra mile to show their appreciation, they’re very kind hearted. Everyone watches each other’s backs, we all muck-in and support each other.
How would you describe Woodborough House? (3 words)
Devoted (to patients)
How do you unwind outside of work?
I generally go home, have a cup of tea and sit in my garden (when the weather is nice) and relax.
What’s your favourite film or book?
Dirty Dancing or Saturday Night Fever. I reckon I’ve watched Dirty Dancing hundreds of times.
What’s your favourite meal?
Chicken Caesar Salad. However it comes, I love it!
What was the last picture you took on your phone?
It was a picture of my cat, Sydney. He’s a ginger Tom cat. I went all the way to Wales to get him because I needed a rat catcher. He was feral when I first got him, I had to keep him in a cage as he used to spit at me. I took a picture of him because he caught a mouse – he’s doing a good job for me!
Who was your childhood hero?
My Dad. I looked up to my Dad, he was a fantastic father. He had six children and would take all of us out all the time. He was a gamekeeper so everything we did with him was outside, like fishing. I’m a very ‘outsidy’ person as a result.
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