Professional groups for orthodontic dental nurses
The ONG was formed as an independent specialist group for Dental Nurses in the UK and Ireland in June 1994. From their initial meeting their aims and objectives were clear.
- to act on behalf of all dental nurses and to advance high standards by developing the orthodontic nurses’ role
- to develop the orthodontic dental nurses’ (and now also therapists’) role within the orthodontic specialty
- to provide Continuing Professional Development through Study Days, the Journal, the Nurses Day programme at British Orthodontic Conference and two Dental Nurse Competitions
- to liaise with all professional bodies, including the British Orthodontic Society, the British Dental Association, the General Dental Council, the Royal Colleges and the Deaneries
- to manage the Group’s finances, business plan and strategies so that these objectives are realised
From the onset, their goal was to create career pathways for dental nurses, which would provide them with ongoing professional development, extended duties and recognition as Dental Care Professionals (DCPs).
The Group has a distinctive badge and logo consisting of an orthodontic bracket (Figure 27.1).
The bracket has a yellow line filling the bracket slot which recognises the affiliation with dental nursing.
In 2005, the title of the Group name was amended to ‘Orthodontic Nurses and Therapists’ to encompass these rapidly developing roles as Dental Care Professionals.
A prime objective was always to develop the orthodontic dental nurses’ and therapists’ role within the specialists group. The curriculum for the Orthodontic Therapy course had input from the ONG and it was due in part to their direct representation to the GDC, that the title Orthodontic Therapist was accepted.
ONG were also represented on the group that worked on the Curriculum for the now well-established post qualification Certificate in Orthodontic Nursing.
In order to achieve this, the Group has always maintained a small and efficient elected Committee. All of them are busy working orthodontic nurses, so are able to relate to issues and difficulties facing their colleagues. They are professional nurses working on behalf of professional nurses.