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    5 ways to conduct infection control training for your office

    Infection control training doesn’t have to be boring or redundant. Instead, look for new ways to engage your staff.


    Hands-on training

    Hands-on training

    Training need not be conducted in one lengthy session. In fact, it is best digested when taken in a bit at a time.

    “You might want to break it apart into specific areas, across different lunch-and-learn times where you really delve into one area of the training,” Eklund says.

    Hands-on activities can enhance the training sessions.

    “Medical emergency drills, for instance, are a very good example,” Eklund explains. “You can’t just talk about it; you need to engage staff in activities to demonstrate how to respond to a medical emergency. Have staff demonstrate how to use the oxygen tank or take the vital signs until the EMTs come.

    More from the author: 10 reasons dentists should be thankful for hygienists and assistants

    “The same training techniques can be applied to infection control and safety training," Eklund adds. "Reviewing CDC recommendations and looking at site-specific policies can be done in a classroom setting, but it’s more effective to take staff into the sterilization area, talk through the processes, and refresh and remind everyone what needs to be done. In that way, it becomes more interactive, and that also engages staff to have more discussion and ask questions.”

    Hands-on training can extend beyond the sterilization area and should include more than the hygienists and assistants.

    “The assistants and the hygienists are primarily the ones who set up an operatory and break it down, but the dentist plays a big role as well, to be a second check or a second look,” she says. “When the dentist sits down with the patient, they should do an environmental scan to ensure that something hasn’t been missed. The dental assistants are extremely busy and having the second check helps to reduce the risk of an infection control breach due to human error.  Infection prevention and control requires a team effort.”


    Robert Elsenpeter
    Robert Elsenpeter is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Dental Products Report and Digital Esthetics. He is also the author ...


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