Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Dentistry
Regulations Governing the Practice of Dental Assistants [18 VAC 60 ‑ 30]
Action Training in infection control
Comment Period Ended on 3/31/2021
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3/31/21  9:50 pm
Commenter: Savannah Thomas

Infection Control for DAs is Essential

It is essential to require infection control training for dental assistants. They are responsible for much of the cleaning, disinfecting, and sterilizing in the dental setting. Dental offices are also often fast paced, which leaves no room for error when it comes to proper sanitization for patients’ health, as well as the staff’s health especially given the current pandemic. I’ve walked into an operatory “cleaned” by an untrained assistant only to find smeared blood remaining on high touch surfaces. Situations like this will most likely make patients think the office is dirty, that the office may take shortcuts, and they are likely to wonder what else in the office is not properly disinfected. Offices are likely to lose patients if patients believe the office staff does not take sanitization seriously. It’s important for dental assistants to have infection control training in order to understand what blood borne pathogens are and how they are transmitted, and what “Universal/Standard Precautions” means and how to take all necessary precautions. This will protect staff and patients and help keep business flowing well; time is money in dentistry, and time gets wasted if a properly trained assistant has to check over tasks an uninformed assistant preforms in order to ensure safety. 

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