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Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (LHN)




Senior Dental Assistant SA Health – Southern Adelaide LHN

Classification: OPS3 Health Unit: Flinders Medical Centre

Division: Surgical and Peri-Operative Medicine

Classification Reviewed: Department / Section: Dental Unit

Position No: FM0440

Position Created:
Job and Person Specification Approval
_________________________________________ _____/_____/_____

CEO or Delegate Date


The Southern Adelaide Local Health Network (LHN) provides care for around 341,000 people living in the southern metropolitan area of Adelaide as well as providing a number of state-wide services, and services to those in regional areas.  More than 7,000 skilled staff provide high quality patient care, education, research and health promoting services.


Southern Adelaide LHN provides a range of acute and sub acute health services for people of all ages, and has three hospitals, Flinders Medical Centre, Noarlunga Hospital and the Repatriation General Hospital. 

Primary Health and Transition services delivers a range of services across the southern metropolitan area of Adelaide, with a focus on providing chronic disease management programs in the community, and transition and hospital substitution and avoidance programs targeted at chronic disease and frail aged.
Southern Mental Health provides a range of integrated services across community and hospital settings, targeted at all age groups, in collaboration with non-Government organisations and Southern Adelaide Fleurieu Kangaroo Island Medicare Local (SAFKIML).

2. SUMMARY OF THE BROAD PURPOSE OF THE POSITION and its responsibilities/duties
The Senior Dental Assistant is accountable to the Senior Dental Officer for effective and efficient provision of clinic activities to ensure the provision of appropriate staff and other resources.

The Senior Dental Assistant carries out these duties and is also responsible for the management of a number of clinics and other duties, making appropriate and necessary decision in the absence of the Senior Dental Officer. Duties also call for effective use of human and other resources.

  1. REPORTING/WORKING RELATIONSHIPS (to whom the person reports, staff for whom the person is responsible, and other significant connections and working relationships within the organisation)

  • Reports to the Senior Dental Officer

  • Accountable to the Head of Unit, Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery, SAPOM

  • Fosters collaborative working relationships with medical, nursing, allied health and other staff working within the SALHN

4. SPECIAL CONDITIONS (such as non-metropolitan location, travel requirements, frequent overtime, etc)

  • Job and Person Specifications are reviewed regularly as part of the ongoing Performance Development process.

  • May be required to work within other locations of the Southern Adelaide LHN.

  • Some out of hours work may be required.

  • Support values consistent with the aims of SA Health and the LHN, including honesty, respect and integrity.

  • May be required to undertake a health assessment prior to commencement.

  • Appointment will be subject to a satisfactory Department of Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) Criminal History Check.

  • Comply with the Principles of the Code of Fair Information Practice, adopted by the Department of Health, which regulate the collection, use, disclosure, storage and transfer of all personal patient/client information within the Department and throughout its funded service providers.

5. STATEMENT OF KEY OUTCOMES AND ASSOCIATED ACTIVITIES (group in to major areas of responsibility / activity and list in descending order of importance).

To plan, manage, organise, co-ordinate and control all Clinical and Clerical Activities in conjunction with the Senior Dental Officer.
To ensure the provision of effective, economic and efficient utilisation of human and other resources by:

  • Rostering of staff within the Dental Unit formulating and maintaining appropriate rosters (Annual Leave Rosters, Rostered Days Off etc.)

  • Formulating After Hours Emergency Rosters for Dentists

  • Supervising od Dental Receptionist

  • Participating on Interview Panels for all staff selection

  • The induction and orientation of all new staff.

  • Giving feedback on the performance of all staff.

  • Ensuring effective dissemination of information to all staff, to facilitate understanding of Departmental Policies and Procedures and FMC Policies and Procedures.

  • Providing all equipment and instruments required for all Clinics within the Dental Unit (Restorative, Oral Surgery, Cleft Palate) and overseeing that they are maintained in a good working order.

  • Communicating relevant information received by attending meetings.

  • The ordering of all stock for all of the above Clinics - General, Linen, Pharmacy and Stationery for office use, and the ordering of equipment, instruments and materials by preparing Stores Requisitions and ensuring receipt of ordered stock, and undertaking regular Inventory Checks.

  • Meeting with Dental Representatives regarding equipment, materials and instruments, the pricing of items and discussing with the Senior Dental Officer.

  • Working within the constraints of a budget with Senior Dental Officer.

  • Maintaining Clinical Skills by actively chairside assisting in all routine Restorative Clinics with the Senior Dental Officer and both specialty clinics (Oral Surgery, Cleft Palate}. Also assisting the Maxiofacial Technician when required.

  • Ensuring the cleanliness and equipment and clinical areas.

  • Formulating Dental Policies and Procedures, Goals and Objectives and updating of all Manuals (Dental, Fire, Occupational Health & Safety etc).

Organising all sessional activities internally and externally - this includes arrangements for Specialty Clinics by:

  • Liaising with Oral Surgery Manager at the Adelaide Dental Hospital regarding session times, referrals, results, patient treatments, etc.

  • Liaising with each member of the Cleft Palate Team which comprises Plastic Surgeons, Oral Surgeons, Orthodontist, Pedodontist, Speech Therapists and Dental Surgeon of Clinic times, patients' treatments, referrals etc.

  • Advising Dental Assistants and Dentists of new materials and use of new equipment and its maintenance.

  • Accepting responsibility for the care, maintenance and use of equipment.

  • Counselling and support to other Dental Assistants and patients e.g. parents of newborn cleft lip and palate babies

  • Attending Nee-Natal Unit when requested by Plastic Surgeon regarding newborn cleft lip and palate babies' requirements.

Ensures efficient management of administrative functions by:

  • Being responsible for Time Sheets, Rostered Days Off, Annual Leave and organising Relief Staff.

  • Being responsible for organising meetings for the Senior Dental Officer.

  • Liaising with Senior Dental Officer regarding all laboratory work flow.

  • Organising repairs, replacements and services of all equipment and instruments.

  • Supervising all Dental Assistants and providing day to day guidance and instruction.

  • Processing, mounting and filing of all Dental Radiographs and maintaining Patient Records and Files.

  • Organising all work flow.

  • Responding to general and patient inquiries effectively by providing accurate and appropriate information.

  • Comprehensive computing skills and understanding of waiting list procedures.

  • Organisation and Collation of Statistical Data for submission to SA Health.

  • Liaising with all internal departments and other South Australian Dental Services Clinics.

  • Suggesting improvements and alterations to Clinic Areas to improve efficiency whilst ensuring that a safe workplace and heal thy environment is provided to all staff.

  • Interpreting patient records for the purpose of efficient set-up, instruments and equipment.

  • Overseeing office practices and procedures.

  • Being responsible for the organisation of forms and blood tests of staff when an injury is incurred e.g. needle-stick injury.

Contribute to a safe and healthy work environment, free from discrimination and harassment by working in accordance with legislative requirements, the Code of Ethics for the South Australian Public Sector and departmental human resource policies, including WHS requirements.
Commitment to achieving and complying with National Safety & Quality Health Service Standards

Acknowledged by Occupant:______________________________ Date: _____/_____/_____


  1. ESSENTIAL MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS (those characteristics considered absolutely necessary)

Educational/Vocational Qualifications

  • A National Standard Certificate in Dental Assisting

Personal Abilities/Aptitudes/Skills

  • Ability to respond to a diverse range of people in a courteous, helpful manner under a variety of conditions, e.g. heavy work load, aggressive clients.

  • Effective telephone and communications skills.

  • Ability to co-ordinate staff, including preparation of staff rosters.

  • Ability to supervise staff including giving instructions, providing positive and constructive feedback.

  • Ability to set up and maintain systems for waiting lists, the ordering of materials and equipment.

  • Ability to maintain confidentiality in dealing with sensitive and personal details.

  • Ability to adhere to instructions, established practices, procedures and guidelines.

  • Possess a high level of personal motivation and initiative and a strong commitment to service excellence.

  • Possess flexibility, adaptability and versatility of approach to handle changing work requirements with the ability to deal with numerous demands and to work well under pressure.

  • Ability to work effectively as a member of a multidisciplinary team.

  • Ability to perform high quality, accurate data entry and be proficient in keyboard skills.

  • Proven commitment to the principles and practise of:

  • EEO, Ethical Conduct, diversity and WH&S;

  • Quality management and client oriented service;

  • Risk management.”


  • Experience as a Dental Assistant

  • Some experience in oral surgery procedures

  • Experience in the use of computers and software applications including word processing and electronic mail.

  • Experience in a customer service role.


  • Knowledge of clerical and administrative practices and procedures.

  • Knowledge of Dental Policies and Procedures

  • Understanding of Work Health Safety principles and procedures

  • Understanding of Quality Management principles and procedures

  • Understanding of Delegated Safety Roles and Responsibilities

  • Awareness of National Safety and Quality Health Service Standards

2. DESIRABLE CHARACTERISTICS (to distinguish between applicants who meet all essential requirements)

Personal Abilities/Aptitudes/Skills

  • Comprehensive knowledge and experience in Oral Surgery procedures and Cleft Lip and Palate procedures.

  • Some degree of medical knowledge in connection with medically compromised patients requiring complex dental procedures.

  • Skilled in administrative/reception/clerical/computing duties.

  • Ability to liaise with health professionals in a manner, which is conducive to a customer focused, team orientated environment.


  • Proven experience in basic computing skills, including email and word processing

  • Experience in a hospital based dental Clinic

  • Experience in chairside assisting in Oral Surgery procedures and Cleft Lip and Palate procedures.

  • Experience in operating theatres


  • Awareness of the Charter of Health and Community Services rights.

  • Knowledge of medical terminology.

  • Knowledge of records management.

Educational/Vocational Qualifications (considered useful in carrying out the responsibilities of the position)

  • Dental Radiology Certificate

Other details

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