Personal Protective Equipment and your safety [Week 4]
The next policy in your infection control manual is the PPE policy.
SmartDentist subscribers will find a completed Personal Protection Equipment Policy on SmartDentist.
Personal Protective equipment consists of the following:
There is nothing very exciting about this!
The important aspects are:
Personal Protective Equipment is the LEAST effective way of dealing with a danger. For dental staff immunisation is far more effective in preventing damage to self and others!
Be mindful that you are not transfering bugs from one person to another via your PPE.
Dental Gloves ARE NOT,NEVER EVER going to protect you from our sharp instruments. You must adopt safe work practices.
Dish Washer type Heavy Duty gloves for cleaning instruments are only heavy-duty by the fact that they last longer and maynot tear as easily. Tearing is not really our safety issue! Tearing is not the same as being punctured. They are NOT more resistant to puncture.
Gloves can have micro-holes and contaminate your hands without you seeing a problem. Use hand hygiene before putting on gloves and after removing gloves. Don’t have a false sense of security when wearing gloves.
TASK for this week Download the Hand hygiene poster; save it to a UBS; go to Office Works and get a copy printed for each wash sink (0.88 cents per copy) and laminate it (1.75 per copy).
Get some blue tack and put them up at work!
(See picture above: I really do do what I say. Here is a selfie of me with the 5 posters – one for each surgery and one for the steri-room)
The Dental Board says you MUST have your own infection control manual.
So what does that look like? Guess what. There isn’t ‘one’ answer to that question.
But we are going to follow the ADA guidelines with our OWN manual.
To save you checking what the ADA guidelines says you need to include in an infection control manual I have copied the text from P31. (see below)
This week’s 5 minute infection control task* is to login to SmartDentist.com.au and go to POLICIES and find the link to the Common Policy Template Library. You will find a list with all our infection control policies. There are 16 in my list so make sure each one of these policies is ADDED to your policy list. This is very quick and I don’t expect you to read them at this time – just make sure you have added them in preparation for our future blog articles.
If you don’t subscribe to SmartDentist you could audit your policies against this list or alternatively start a Word Doc with the list so you can begin to create your own infection control manual.
(From P31 of ADA guidelines for infection Control 2015-
Information and specifications in the manual must include:
• methods of hand hygiene (both routine and surgical);
• personal protective equipment requirements;
• setting up the treatment area between patients;
• environmental cleaning protocol;
• defined zones that require barrier protection and cleaning between patients;
• protocol following an exposure incident, e.g. a sharps injury;
• handling and disposal of sharps;
• waste disposal;
• processing of reusable items (cleaning, packaging, sterilisation, disinfection, storage);
• processing of radiographs in a manner to avoid cross-contamination;
• quality control mechanisms including documentation for the maintenance and monitoring of equipment;
• immunisation requirements;
• single-use items;
• recording of information during patient treatment in a manner to avoid cross-contamination;
• use of computers and computer-run equipment during patient treatment in a manner to avoid cross-contamination;
• management of waterlines used in direct patient contact; and
• handling latex allergy in dental patients and dental staff.
Practice infection control manuals must be regularly updated if and when new guidelines are produced by the Dental Board, the ADA or the NHMRC.)
[* Each week we will be looking at infection control compliance – just for 5 minute.]