Through the month of September we have fun many particular events such because the Nationwide Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15), Suicide Prevention Week (Sept. 4-10) and Worldwide Chocolate Day (Sept 13). We additionally have fun Dental An infection Management Consciousness Month all through September.
This 12 months’s #DICAM22 theme is “Staying within the Know Collectively”. Due to this fact, I’m sharing the data and opinions of Dr. Teresa J. Irizarry and Dr. Ana López Fuentes, members of a committee that oversees an infection management protocol on the College of Puerto Rico Medical Science Campus’ dental clinic. I interviewed them due to their rigorous coaching and expertise in Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention, an affiliation for oral well being care professionals that focuses on dental an infection prevention and affected person and supplier security.
What are widespread an infection management errors dentists and dental college students make?
Dr. López: Carrying their protecting private tools (PPE) incorrectly, forgetting to present the sufferers protecting eyewear and strolling with their disposable robes from a contaminated to a non-contaminated space are among the most typical errors we see dental college students and dentists make.
Dr. Irizarry: I’ve seen college students overlook to present protecting glasses to their sufferers. Whereas this isn’t particularly a part of the scholar’s an infection management protocol, it’s a part of the protocol answerable for affected person safety. Secondly, many college students overlook the correct use of PPE, particularly the usage of their gloves. After you have your gloves on and are engaged on a affected person, you aren’t supposed to the touch different surfaces other than the devices used within the process and barrier-protected surfaces. Nonetheless, many college students overlook this and contact and contaminate objects reminiscent of their face defend, glasses, coat, drawers, keyboard and laptop mouse. This is without doubt one of the most typical errors I see within the dental clinic and in non-public practices.
What would you want so as to add or change within the present an infection protocol used in school?
Dr. López: I need to change the mindset for compliance in well being and security for all. It’s my dream to create and add an emergency preparedness course to the dental program. I need our college students to take the vaccination modules and be ready to vaccinate just like the nursing and medical college students. I want to embody emergency fundamentals reminiscent of put a bone again in place, place a tourniquet, deal with burns, dehydration, panic assault, bronchial asthma assault, and intoxication amongst others.
I need college students to have the basic data to know react in a medical emergency. This may very well be a chance to incorporate interprofessional schooling and collaboration from completely different well being skilled college students and workers reminiscent of nurses, EMTs, respiratory therapists, and so on. A few of these modules exist already within the CDC, U.S. Division of Public Well being, and different establishments. We should always set up these modules and put together observe and certification for dental college students.
Each well being skilled, together with oral well being professionals, is a vital well being practitioner. COVID-19 will not be the one pandemic nor Hurricane Maria the final pure disaster we might face. Each oral well being skilled is usually a first-line-of-defense supplier throughout these conditions.
It’s additionally crucial we replace and prepare in an infection management yearly. As we’ve all witnessed with COVID-19, an infection management can change by the minute. We should discuss an infection prevention slightly than an infection management. It’s a matter of well being and security.
Dr. Irizarry: I’m not a fan of utilizing overgloves [gloves worn over other gloves]. It provides the scholar a false sense of safety. It’s higher to easily take away the gloves, clear your palms, get what you want and put on a brand new set of gloves. Nonetheless, I do perceive the college’s want to avoid wasting on tools. I additionally imagine if college students successfully set up the devices they want for the process beforehand, it will lower the necessity to placed on and take off their gloves. Additionally, within the clinic we would not have particular person X-ray machines for every dental chair. As an alternative, the identical clinic’s X-ray machines are shared by all workers and college students of the clinic. Due to this fact, we should all be extra vigilant about following right prevention and an infection protocol when taking radiographs.
Dental college students are taught to deal with everybody as infectious. What are different guidelines concerning infectious management?
Dr. López: They need to observe commonplace precautions when working on the clinic and after the sufferers depart, treating each affected person and each dental instrument as probably infectious. I all the time train college students that they need to clear first earlier than disinfecting or sterilizing. Every little thing that goes within the affected person’s mouth should be both sterile or disposable.
Dr. Irizarry: College students ought to deal with everybody the identical and visualize how the proper use of an infection management protects not solely you and your affected person but in addition your workers, family and friends. This may encourage everybody to take precautions and create environment friendly security habits.
Keep tuned for half two of this subject subsequent week!
~Ana P. López Santa, Puerto Rico ‘25