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Timing of CPR Renewal

My cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) renewal deadline is in June but my office is not hosting a class until August. Is this a problem if I wait until August?

CPR certification for dentists and dental hygienists is required by dental or regulatory boards in nearly every state to obtain initial licensure. Additionally, these dental practice acts specify that dentists and dental hygienists must maintain current CPR or basic life support certification while holding an active license. The operative word is current.

As an employee benefit and to ensure compliance, many dentist-employers host CPR training in their offices for the entire staff. Even though the dentist may offer CPR training at a specified time, there can be occasions where a new dental hygiene employee is on a different renewal cycle that may expire prior to the date of the office training.

If dental hygienists choose to wait to renew their CPR until the office’s date of training, they would be practicing in the interim without current CPR certification. As much as the new employee would like to postpone renewing their CPR certification until the date of the office training, this falls within the realm of practicing without a valid license and could be subject to disciplinary action, including license revocation.

Georgia Board of Dentistry

For example, the Georgia Board of Dentistry Rule 150-5-04 states, “Dental hygienists shall maintain at all times during licensure and furnish to the Board, upon request, current certification in one- and two-rescuer CPR and management of obstructed airway for adults, children, and infants as taught by the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, American Safety and Health Institute, National Safety Council, EMS Safety Services, or other such agencies approved by the Board. Current certification is a condition for license renewal. Failure to maintain current CPR certification may serve as grounds to deny the renewal of a license and may also result in disciplinary action against the licensee.”1

Although this rule is specific to Georgia, similar rules apply in most states.

Options for Dental Hygienists

If dental hygienists find themselves in this situation, they have two options:

  1. Renew CPR on their own and simply accept the fact that they will be on a different renewal cycle than the rest of the office.
  2. If dental hygienists want to be on the same renewal cycle as the rest of the office, CPR training can be taken at their specific time of renewal and an additional time with the office, which will then put all staff in the office on the same renewal cycle.

Having CPR certification lapse, for any time period, is a violation of most dental practice acts and is not worth the risk of disciplinary action.


Reference

  1. Georgia Board of Dentistry. Chapter 150-5. Available at: gbd.georgia.gov/document/150-5-04/download. Accessed May 13, 2024.

From Dimensions of Dental Hygiene. June/July 2024; 22(4):46

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