Srey Ny and Ratana both attended a course for dental nurses in Phnom Penh in Cambodia which was run by local dentist Kenneth MacDonald and senior nurse Carolyn MacDonald. Srey Ny and Ratana both work in a large modern dental clinic run by Dr. Tith, and such was the competition to visit Stornoway for work experience that 30 staff had to take an examination to test their knowledge and language to select the best two for further training.
Kenneth MacDonald explained that the clinic in Phnom Penh where the girls work was the best managed practice he had seen as they have ‘ISO 9000’ quality management accreditation, use the same computer software as we do in the Western Isles, and provide the full range of dental treatments from oral surgery and implants to the latest cosmetic treatment.
Dr Tith realised the benefits of well trained staff and has sent most of his staff on the courses Mr MacDonald has been running in Cambodia. More recently, he decided to develop his senior nurses to be able to train their new staff.
Mr MacDonald said: “The two nurses will be watching the procedures in the surgery and following the role of our senior dental nurses in the new Western Isles Dental Clinic.
“Srey Ny and Ratana are really enjoying the experience of working in the Western Isles Dental Clinic and are keeping a diary of everything they learn to take back to Cambodia. They find the temperature and food a bit harder to get used to but they tell their family and friends they are really happy in Stornoway.”
Kenneth MacDonald initially went out to Cambodia to work in a Rotary sponsored clinic that provided care for orphans in Phnom Penh but as he is the chief examiner with SQA and City & Guild for dental nurses he has more recently been asked to provide a training and mentoring role for dental staff and students providing care for orphans and the poor of Cambodia. With the use of Skype and the internet, Kenneth is almost in daily contact with the staff at the charity’s clinics and able to give help and advice. He returns to Cambodia in November for four weeks to do further training and clinics.
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