|Action||Training in infection control|
|Comment Period||Ends 3/31/2021|
I am writing in support of the proposed regulation change requiring dental assistants to be Infection Control Certified (ICE) through DANB or NELDA before they are permitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Having graduated from an accredited dental assisting program as a CDA in December of 2018, I am well aware that dentistry, like other medical fields, has its potential for health-altering hazards. My education and subsequent DANB certifications have provided me with the knowledge and credentials I need to protect my patients, myself, my team, and my community from injury and communicable disease. An on-the-job trained dental assistant without certifications, however, will likely have no idea what airborne or bloodborne pathogens are, what standard precautions are, or even that there is a difference between disinfection and sterilization; all of which are paramount knowledge in the avoidance of cross-contamination and subsequent maleficence. Patients and people, in general, have immense societal trust in their healthcare providers. That trust should be honored. The allowance of substandard practice is therefore unacceptable. I ask you to please see the validity and criticality of this proposal. The patients and dentists of the Commonwealth of Virginia deserve competent certified dental assistants. With COVID an ever-present threat these days, I can’t think of a more opportune moment to instate this change.
Thank you for reading my testimony and for your consideration of this very important issue.