Life Working as a temporary dental nurse.
It is often the case in a dental practice that when it comes to the decontamination of instruments prior to sterilisation that I find the practice has an ultrasonic bath but does not use it. In such case there is a discoloured nail brush with worn bristles, hand soap if you are lucky that the dental nurse is expected to use.
The BDA advice sheet Infection Control in dentistry A12 do state in their introduction under the title Routine Procedures, "failure to employ adequate methods of cross-infection control would almost certainly render a dentist liable to a charge of serious professional misconduct".
It is a concern to me and others working in a temporary capacity that we are vulnerable and we must eliminate risks to our health and wellbeing at work in order to protect ourselves. Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV are just a few viruses that we are aware of and should we have an accidental needlestick injury from a dirty sharp instrument such as a probe we run the risk of potential infection.
Having previously worked in a large hospital NHS trust I was fortunate to have Infection Control nurses, Health and Safety employees and a Central Sterilisation Supplies Department that decontaminate instruments, sterilise and package them with a bar code for us to link up with the patient notes. We must consider that all patients and patients who are immunocompromised must have clean instruments.
- The Health and Safety at Work ACT 1974
- The Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1992
- Employment Rights Act 1996
- Protection from Harassment Act 1997
- Sex Discrimination Act 1975
- Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000
- Disability Discrimination Act 1995
- Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1992.
- Public Interest and Disclosure Act 1998
We must inform ourselves and I carry the BDA A12 advice sheet on Infection Control in Dentistry to quote and show dentists if I have to.