One of the most thoroughly covered topics in dental hygiene is infection control. When working as a dental hygienist, it is your responsibility to maintain the highest standard to prevent spread of infection. It’s just as important to minimize the risk of infection at the dental practice as it is in any general office. Your health as well as the wellbeing of others around you is at stake. Perhaps that’s why any dental hygienist school will place special focus on the topic of infection control. Here are a few steps you can take to minimize the risk of infection at the workplace.
Maintain high standards of cleanliness
Germs can be transmitted from one place to the other very easily especially in the workplace setting. That is why it is important to practice the basics of washing hands many times throughout the day. Wash hands when you greet people, whenever you have to take your food or after visiting the bathroom. These simple basics on staying away from germs will help you to avoid common colds and flu. If you spend a lot of time engaging with customers, you may want to avoid handshakes to lower the risk of transmission of germs. All in all, just make sure you clean your hands properly afterwards to avoid the spread of infections.
Stay away from work when ill
At this time of the year, cold and flu are not very common. However, if you catch a cold and you feel contagious, it’s important to stay away until you are fully recovered. Your colleagues can easily be infected when they touch the same surfaces like the desk, keyboard or even the handles of the refrigerator which you also use. Germs can quickly spread in the office with just a single person who is sick. It’s best to stay home until you get better especially if the condition is contagious.
Use of proper tools and equipment
This normally applies to the actual work. To avoid spread of infection, make sure you use gloves when handling patients. These are some of the basics that are taught at the Toronto College of Dental Hygiene. Patients can have different viruses or bacteria that is highly contagious. As the dental hygienist, you need to take precaution. The virus can spread to all the other staff at the office if you don’t use the right tools when handling patients. Protect yourself and others around you by considering this.
Follow the standard procedures
Last but not least, follow any guidelines on infection control to the letter. Remember that the guidelines are put in place to protect the staff and patients of dental practices from getting infections. If this means throwing away the gloves after handling a patient, it should be done just as it is recommended. Don’t take any chances when it comes to dental procedures. Carry out all these treatments according to book and you’ll avoid being a part of a malpractice and risk losing your license.