|Action||Training in infection control|
|Comment Period||Ends 3/31/2021|
As a career dental assistant of 20+ years, who started as an OTJ trained assistant, I fully support this petition for certification in infection control procedures. I was trained very well at a community health clinic who was accredited through JCAHO. Unfortunately, I found that after leaving the organization, the infection control training and annual OSHA training were not regulated and maintained the same in offices that were not accredited through an organization. I am from the poorest and most rural area in Virginia, the most southwest area of the state, and the education is available if you are willing to look for it. The ADAA offers courses that train dental offices in infection control and meet DANB requirements. I am now a CDA, the team leader at my wonderful dental home, a member of the Advisory Board of the MECC Dental Assisting Program, and a current DAII student at GCC. I have always believed that furthering education and attaining certifications are the best way to provide the best care for my patients. My personal opinion is that all dental assistants should be certified through the DANB and maintain their certifications yearly by completion of CE credits. This would allow the great State of Virginia to offer the best quality of oral healthcare to our patients. Patients would recognize that their safety, and the safety of their practitioners has become of the utmost importance to us. In this post pandemic world, patients are highly aware and inquire of the measures being taken to keep them healthy and safe. I would hope that dental assistants that are currently practicing without a certification could easily complete such a course and sit for the DANB Infection Control Exam. I would also hope that they would be willing to do this to further their knowledge and provide the safest oral healthcare they can to their families and communities. I understand that this is only a first step and that there will need to be special circumstances that allow already practicing non-certified dental assistants a smooth and easy transition into attaining the certifications needed. I am confident that the Board will handle this matter with respect and fairness to those assistants. I am excited for what this petition could mean for the growth of the practice of dental assisting. Thank you for your attention and consideration to this petition.
Summer Woodard, CDA
Big Stone Gap, VA 24219