Emergency Dental Care Engineers During The Pandemic

Emergency Dental Care Engineers during the Pandemic

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Emergency Dental Care Engineers during the Pandemic

Emergency Dental Care Engineers during the Pandemic

Emergency Dental Care Engineers during the Pandemic

Emergency Dental Care Engineers during the Pandemic

The team at Vickerstock sat down with Eamonn Devlin, Senior Engineer from Henry Schein Dental. Understanding that Eamonn worked throughout the pandemic, we were keen to find out how engineering within his role had to adapt to this and what measures were put in place to work around the coronavirus pandemic.

Henry Schein Inc. is a solutions company for health care professionals powered by a network of people and technology, headquartered in the United States with operations or affiliates in 32 countries and territories.

Within Henry Schein's dental business in Ireland, the company provides service support for practices through the UK and Ireland, install vital equipment within emergency and local dental practices, and conduct daily repairs to ensure all equipment is of a high standard caliber. 

Eamonn has been an engineer for over 37 years and has been working with Henry Schein for 31 years. Having worked within this industry for a long period of time, Eamonn has seen firsthand how the engineering industry has changed and adapted: “Over the years I have seen how things have progressed digitally within engineering such as CAD technology and CAM technology. However, the Covid-19 pandemic brought about a whole new level of adaption to my day-to-day routine.”

How did you get into engineering?

Back when I was 22, I had served my apprenticeship with Michelin for four years where I had received excellent training and knowledge of the engineering industry. Even before this apprenticeship I had dabbled with electronics and hydraulics, mainly fueled by my passion for motorsports. It was then I saw an opportunity with Henry Schein as a Dental and I knew this was an area I would enjoy as it encompassed all the elements I enjoyed, such as pneumatics, hydraulics, and electronics to name a few. After I got the job, here I am, 31 years later and very much still enjoying it.

How did you find working as an essential engineer during the pandemic?

“Due to the necessity for dental care over lockdown, I was allocated as senior field engineer at various hospitals throughout Northern Ireland to provide emergency cover within their dental facilities. The uncertainty surrounding this at the beginning was high, as it was for everyone, so I knew my daily routine would have to change.

Adapting to the new Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements took a lot of getting used to and a lot of my work was done within designated amber areas, so although I was not near red zones, caution and safety were always my key priority.

As a Field Engineer, I was on call daily so a prompt response was important. Due to the nature of a lot of dental procedures, such as AGP (aerosol generate procedures) rooms had to be ‘fallowed’ after each treatment. This meant rooms had to be left vacant for a set time before cleaning could take place. This posed a challenge at times as it meant that if a piece of equipment wasn’t working, I was restricted to how quickly I could respond to out of action equipment, therefore time management and efficiency was key for my customers and of course the patients.

Working closely within the emergency dental practices in local hospitals within Northern Ireland over lockdown was a challenge but inspiring. To see the strength of our NHS during this time was fantastic and I was privileged to help in any way I could to keep their services moving smoothly within their dental emergency care department.”