A day in the life of... Joanne Charlesworth

A day in the life of...  Joanne Charlesworth

28 Jan 2011

I have worked for Sheffield Salaried Primary Dental Care Service in the Oral Health Promotion Team for the last nine years. Once I started working in Oral Health Promotion I joined the National Oral Health Promotion Group (NOHPG) as a member and then four years ago I joined the committee; first as treasurer and now as Chair.

A typical day for me starts at 8.30 am when I arrive at the office. I ensure that I know where my team members are going to be working that day and that there aren’t any problems, for example sickness cover, cancelled training sessions etc. If I am delivering any training that day I check that I have all of the resources and equipment I need for the day and load up my car.

One of the most enjoyable things about working within oral health improvement is that every day is different. I could be teaching a group of health professionals about the importance of ensuring oral health is included within their care plans in the morning and in the afternoon explaining to new mums about caring for their baby’s teeth.

Oral Health Action Teams

As the Oral Health Promotion Manager within our service I do need to spend quite a lot of time in meetings. This is to make sure that oral health is kept on everyone’s health agenda for the local community and isn’t forgotten about.

In Sheffield we are currently running a programme working in healthy communities areas and developing Oral Health Action Teams (OHAT). OHATs work within the community development structures already in place through the healthy communities programme in Sheffield. The teams have been developed to meet the needs of the neighbourhoods involved. Examples of some of the work is the distribution of fluoride toothpaste packs, introduction of toothbrushing schemes in nurseries and after-school clubs and training and support for health, social and education professionals working within these healthy community areas.

Daily duties

At some point during the day I carry out day-to-day management duties for the team including ordering of resources, organising meetings, responding to emails, telephone enquiries, and staff issues.

At 5.00pm as the day draws to a close, I take the opportunity to look at and reply to any correspondence relating to the NOHPG. The amount of work varies from week to week depending on if we have a committee meeting due or a study day coming up or if there have been any recent publications relating to oral health improvement.

NOHPG 30th Anniversary

It will be NOHPG’s 30th Anniversary next year, which is a fantastic achievement due to the hard work of the NOHPG members, especially the members that have given their time and energy to working on the committee over the last 30 years.

If you would like any more information or would like to join NOHPG please visit our website on: www.nohpg.org

Joanne’s top tips:

1. Be prepared to adapt sessions to meet the needs of your target group

2. Always be organised and flexible

3. Be aware that working within oral health improvement doesn’t always result in positive outcomes and behaviour change

4. Good communication is the key

5. A smile goes a long way.



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