Stress in Dentistry – what causes it and how to cope?

Time & Location

Saturday 28th April 2018
09:30am - 16:30pm
Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness
6.5 hours CPD

Speaker: Christine Anne  Macleavy
Registered Dental Therapist
FAETC, PGCE, PG Dip in Hypnosis Applied to Dentistry, Master Practitioner and Trainer NLP
Member of BSCAH, HEA


I qualified as a dental nurse many years ago with the WRNS and then went on to train as a dental therapist at New Cross Hospital, London.  In 2003 I achieved a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (Post Compulsory Education) and became a member of the Higher Education Academy.  A Post Graduate Diploma in Hypnosis Applied to Dentistry at University College London followed in 2006.

I also became extremely interested in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and studied to Master Practitioner Level with the International NLP Trainers Association (INLPTA) and then became a Trainer of NLP. I have also studied Dental Acupuncture, Thought Field Therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Transactional Analysis.

My dental career to date has involved working in the Community Dental Service, General Dental Practice, Private Practice and the paediatric department of the Eastman Dental Hospital in London.

Since 1998 I have tutored and lectured part time on the dental hygiene and dental therapy courses at the Eastman, lectured on the BSc in Primary Dental Care at Kent University and the Foundation Degree in Dental Nursing at Barnfield College, Bedford.

I have been delivering extended duties courses for dental nurses and CPD courses for all members of the dental team since 2010 both independently and on behalf of Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust, Leicester City PCT, the London Deanery, and Croydon PCT.

I have also had many articles published in journals such as Dental Nursing, Dental Health, Vital and SAAD Digest.

Topics to be covered

  • Introduction
  • What is stress?  Types of stress
  • What makes dentistry so stressful? Patients, colleagues, not feeling valued, time constraints
  • Dealing with difficult patients, anxious, fearful and phobic—what causes it? How to deal with it? Communication skills
  • Introduction to complementary therapies—hypnosis, acupuncture, CBT, breathing and relaxation
  • Making the most of the team in order to have less stress and retain valuable team members
  • Stress reducing exercises  and demonstration of acupuncture and hypnosis. Self hypnosis for dealing with stress. Yoga breathing demonstration

Course aims

  • To understand what stress is and why dentistry in particular is so stressful.
  • Examine the differences between anxiety, fear and phobia. What are the underlying causes and how to deal with patients who suffer.
  • Learn some advanced communication skills to communicate better with others and self.
  • Be introduced to complementary therapies and see what tips we can adopt immediately.
  • Examine teamwork and delegation. Is the team working and functioning in a way to minimise stress?
  • Be introduced to some practical ideas and exercises.

Anticipated Learning Outcomes

To meet GDC Standards for the Dental Team:

  1. Put patients interests first (1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.6, 1.7)
  2. Communicate effectively with patients (2.1, 2.2, 2.3)
  3. Obtain valid consent (3.1, 3.2).          
  4. Work with colleagues in a way that is in patients best interests (6.1, 6.3, 6.4, 6.5)