A dental assistant is a valuable member of a dental team. A dental assistant increases the efficiency of the dental treatment. If you think about being a dental assistant, the first frame that should come to your mind is to support the dental operatory. You will be passing instruments during clinical procedures and helping the main in-charge. This is only one of many jobs the dental assistant can have, and you slowly evolve. The duties vary, and you can be assigned the roles of:
- Taking dental impressions
- Charting patients notes
- Sterilizing instruments
- Assisting dentist in treatment and clinical procedures
- Providing instructions for patients about oral hygiene
- Exposing dental radiographs
- You can even get an administrative job
- You can get the task of infection control
The role of a dental assistant is dynamic. The dental assistant has to learn different skills for different roles. The most important task is the infection control. The appropriate training, education and work experience is important for the person who wants to be an infection control officer. The standard infection control guidelines have to be implemented in every oral health care to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. The infection control is not only for patients but health-care workers too.
Protocols to Follow for Dental Assistant
Here are some protocols which the dental assistant needs to follow in an oral health care center:
The most common pathway for every infection which enters our body is through the mouth. When you eat or even touch your face, you transmit microorganisms from hand to face or mouth. The hands encounter many infection and harmful organisms. Therefore, healthy hand hygiene is essential. An antimicrobial agent like hand rubs, antimicrobial soaps, are effective and remove harmful bacteria from your hands.
The surgical procedure involves a lot of precaution. Wearing proper protective clothing and sterile gloves is essential. When assisting the clinician, the assistant must have gloves on and should take steps to control spread of infection in the clinic setup. The more you follow the aseptic techniques, less is the risk of infection.
Management of Clinical Waste
As an assistant, it is important to know which type of waste is medical and which is contaminated. There are specific bags and bins for contaminated waste. A dental assistant must know the difference in medical related and contaminated waste.
Management of Sharp Instruments
Always handle sharp things with care. There are appropriate techniques to avoid injury from sharp. Instruments like scalpels, needles, scalers, orthodontic bands, need to be disposed of in the separate containers. A dental assistant must have knowledge about what goes into the sharps container and thus minimize the chance of infection to other people.
A healthy environment is must for patients, a dental assistant should follow precaution like putting on gloves while cleaning, wearing a mask, and so on. The guidelines are applicable not only to workers but to all the co-workers. As the dental assistant is in contact with infections frequently, it is essential to follow strict rules to avoid spreading of infections. Cleaner environment reduces the level of health risks.
Just as protocols should be followed with care and caution, the role of a dental assistant is also vital. Proper education and experience is the basis for infection control job. It is good if you have done certification in the course from a reputed institute. You can know more about your chances by visiting Dental Assisting School of Georgia, so try your luck.