Jarryd Clayden-Zabik BOH GCOHS

Jarryd Clayden-Zabik BOH GCOHS

What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted on your life? (Feel free to give specific brands/models).

My Kindle. It has given me a new flexibility with reading. Whenever I wanted to read in the past, I would have to order the hardcopy online and wait a few days or go to the shops. When you're working 5.5 days/week and trying to split your time on the weekends between your partner, friends and sports you don't have that hour to get in the car, fight through traffic, find a carpark, find the bookshop and then be told that the book you want is out of stock. My Kindle gives me my book instantly and I can start reading then and there.

What is the funniest thing that has happened (to you or witnessed) in your job?

A little on the sadistic side, but children aged 4-9 years old always seem to have the funniest reactions the first time they have a dental procedure which requires local anaesthetic. Quite a few are convinced that their tongue/lip has fallen off and we have to show them in the mirror, otherwise they don't believe us!

Favourite guilty pleasure after a stressful day at work?

Having fish and chips or KFC instead of the healthier meal my partner and I were planning to cook!


How has a failure (or apparent failure) set you up for later success? Do you have a "favourite failure" of yours?


As a new graduate I worked in a dental practice in an area with a high rate of dental decay. There was one child who had decay in nearly every tooth at age 8, as well as suffering with autism. His mother informed us that she had been to other clinics, but no one was able to treat her son. Our first appointment with him was a disaster. I could barely do an examination due to his sensory sensitivities. I felt useless as a clinician and a complete failure. I discussed this with my boss who suggested that we complete an examination and any required treatment under general anaesthetic at the hospital. Unfortunately, his family was not able to afford the cost of the general anaesthetic. 
The boy's mother suggested that we could try to complete his treatment in the chair but it may take several appointments over a few months. I was unsure if we would be able to do this, but we gave it a go. The boy's mother was able to help greatly with keeping her son calm and alerting my nurse and I when he was starting to enter sensory overload and needing a break. 
Over a period of 6 months, starting with the easiest procedures first, we managed to complete his treatment. Completing his treatment has been one of my biggest clinical successes to date. 
Jarryd Zabik Quote

If you have a billboard for all other medical professionals out there with any message, what would it say? (It can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)

"Slow down."  I've seen too many of my friends and colleagues push themselves to the max with their careers to the exclusion of their partner, family, friends and other interests. Slow down, take a break, spend some time with those who matter the most. We are social creatures and we need these interactions, otherwise we risk emotionally speeding off the road, crashing and burning.

What is an unusual habit or (conventionally considered to be) absurd thing that you do/love (may or may not be related to your discipline/practice)?

I quite enjoy gardening, especially growing tomatoes. My girlfriend often says to me that she feels she is competing against my tomato vines for my attention.


In the last 5 years, what new belief, behaviour or habit has most improved your life (may or may not be related to your discipline/practice)?


The realisation that my career is not everything. Family and friends are the most valuable part of our lives and we need to maintain a balance.

What advice would you give to a smart, driven student? What advice should they ignore?

In your first few years focus on the interpersonal skills that you can gain from working in a healthcare profession. You will have failures with your treatments, you will have less than ideal treatment outcomes, and that is OK. The most important skill you can acquire is the ability to effectively communicate with a patient when something hasn't gone completely to plan, no matter the reason. 

What bad recommendations do you hear in your area of expertise that you would want to correct the most?

The news article that came out a few years ago saying that there is no evidence that flossing is good for you. I look in peoples' mouths every day, and the people who quote this article always have inflamed gums due to plaque being trapped between the teeth from...not flossing!

In the last 5 years, what have you become better at saying "no" to? What new realizations helped?

I have become better at saying no to false friends. The people that only want to talk to you when they need something, but are never there when you need something. I read quite a few self help books when I was struggling at the start of my career to balance work, friends, family and sport, and this piece of advice helped me to eliminate a lot of unneeded drama.

When you feel overwhelmed or lost focus temporarily, what do you do? (What questions do you ask yourself to get back on track?)

It depends on the reason. If I have been pushing myself and working long hours and then have overcommitted with social events as well, all I need is one or two nights of really good sleep. That will usually set me straight. Don't underestimate the power of sleep.

What is your best or your favourite achievement in your career so far?

Having improved as a clinician each time I have moved to a new dental practice. Being set new goals by my peers and being able to achieve them

Jarryd is an oral health therapist who studied a Bachelor of Oral Health at the University of Melbourne, graduating in 2014, and went on to complete a Graduate Certificate in Oral Health Sciences at the University of Adelaide in 2017. After four years of working in rural and metro areas in Australia, Jarryd decided to move to the UK and is now located in Norfolk, working as a dental hygienist in private practice. Outside of work Jarryd enjoys playing cricket and tennis, as well as travelling. Instagram @jarrydzabic

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