Monday, April 26, 2021 - 1:41pm by Dental Power
In the fight against COVID-19, infection control has become more important than ever - further highlighting the value of dental assistants to the dental practice.
As a dental assistant, you probably already know that infection prevention and control duties are often assigned to you. According to the DALE Foundation's research - "The Value of Dental Assistants to the Dental Practice", 99% of dentists and dental assistants said that sterilization and disinfection duties are delegated to dental assistants. They play a critical role in maintaining the safety and health of patients and the dental team members who serve them.
Though infection control has always been one of the most important aspect of the job as dental assistants, this is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic. It's crucial for assistants to stay up-to-date on infection control knowledge.
For the latest guidance, the CDC's Guidance for Dental Settings is always a great go-to resource. It contains valuable information on the most current recommended infection prevention and control practices for delivering routine dental care.
In addition, there are certificate programs and continuing education courses available for assistants to stay informed. Most recently, the DALE Foundation - in collaboration with The Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) - developed an online continuing education course, "COVID-19 Respiratory Droplet and Aerosol Protection". Completing this course will earn you 2 CE credits, and help you understand how to establish and maintain a safe work environment and limit the spread of contamination based on CDC's guidance and OSHA requirements.
Previously, the DALE Foundation and OSAP had worked together to launch The OSAP-DALE Foundation Dental Infection Prevention and Control Certificate program. This certificate program is designed to help assistants enhance their infection control knowledge and demonstrate their commitment to patient safety.
Given the close contact with patients and each other, dental assistants and dental team members are vital in ensuring a safe dental visit; they are also among the professionals most at risk of infection. With patient and staff safety on the line, it is more important than ever to boost your knowledge in infection prevention and control to protect your patients and yourselves.