When considering ergonomics, one does not often think of some rather important considerations.
So while you are looking at operator stools, patient chairs, loupes and lighting, you might also consider the following:
Loosely fitting scrubs
If you have scrubs that are too tight, you might look awesome but will be constrained in movements you may require to do your work. Tightly fitting tops or bottoms may constrict circulation, compress neurovascular structure or be just plain uncomfortable.
Even though dental professionals sit all day, having a comfortable pair of shoes can be a godsend for long, tedious days. Our feet tend to swell as the day goes on, and a poorly fitting pair of shoes can contribute to the overall discomfort we feel at the end of the day. Adding a pair of support stockings can also be a great help in keeping that swelling under control.
Having a pair of ambidextrous gloves can be a bit of a cost savings; however, the stresses placed on the hand may not be worth the trade-off. Gloves that are too large require the hand to work harder to keep control of the instruments, particularly when they are wet. Gloves that are too small compress the neurovascular structures of the hand, placing one at risk for a musculoskeletal disorder. Having right- and left-fitted gloves allows the hand to work comfortably throughout the day.
This is often not thought of when one speaks about ergonomics, but when looking at the efficiency of the clinic operation, one must look at patient scheduling. Having a balance between difficult and easy patients is a good way to provide a bit of recovery from the stresses of long, tedious cases, while ensuring decreased chair turnover time.
This month’s list is provided by physical therapist Tim Caruso, a consultant with Pelton & Crane. For more information on ergonomics, as well as Pelton & Crane products, make sure to check out this e-book (http://bit.ly/1DfPVCk) and this webinar (http://bit.ly/1DfQ5JQ).