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New Study Shows Age and Income Impact Dental Hygienists’ COVID-19 Infection Control Protocol

A new study published in the International Journal of Dental Hygiene found that age and income influence dental hygienists’ COVID-19 infection control protocols. The study of 500 practicing dental hygienists in South Korea discovered that clinicians younger than age 27 and those who made less than $2,000 per month were less likely to be up to date on infection control guidelines necessary to reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the dental setting. The most significant factor influencing whether dental hygienists were confident in appropriate infection control protocols was level of knowledge. Click here to read more.

  1. Jill, RDH, CDA says

    I wish the picture for this article depicted proper infection control protocols.

  2. Andrea Junghans says

    I am a practicing hygienist of 40 plus years and Infection Control Consultant for a wide range of business models. Due to this business, I have had many clients and have observed infection control breaches across the board of business models. However, to focus on dentistry, these are the most common breaches and issues with staff I see when I am asked to provide my service.
    1. Lack of updated and best practices in infection control for the entire staff
    2. Improperly worn PPE
    3. Inconsistent sterilization protocols, loading and processing autoclaves/chemclaves
    4. Too much clutter and exposed items in the treatment rooms
    5. Improper contact time for disinfectants between patients
    6. Improper packaging of instruments
    7. cross contamination issues in the treatment rooms, specifically data entry and charting
    8. Wearing gowns, masks and gloves in staff lounges instead of removing prior to entry
    9. Leaving the office wearing contaminated lab coats
    10. Leaving contaminated masks and PPE on countertops in lounge areas when not in use
    These are the top ten issues I see over and over.

    1. Mary Dever says

      To Andrea J,
      I really appreciate your list of common Infection control breaches in the dental settings. I ‘ve been a dental hygienist for 45 years, both as an instructor and in private practice and your list is spot-on from my experience as well. Addressing an infection control issue with co-workers may be received as criticism but it is so important that we all do our best and be willing make changes when needed.
      The hardest one for me is the data entry and charting.
      Thanks for your great reminders!

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