The world as a biohazard; the curse of a dental nurse.

Updated: Dec 18, 2018


HOW CLEAN IS YOUR DENTAL SURGERY??


The next time you visit College Street Dental Centre, Petersfield, I challenge you to notice just ten of the provisions that we have put in place to keep you, our patients, safe. Our team of dental clinicians and dental nurses work tirelessly to provide you all with an environment that is not only at the forefront of technological advances, but is also as clinically clean and secure as possible and compliant with HTM-01-05, the government's infection control regulations.


From the moment you walk through the door you should start to notice some of the infection control measures we have taken:

  • On the reception desk there is alcohol gel for patients to disinfect their hands 

  • You should notice all the clinicians and dental nurses are wearing a fashionable set of 'dental scrubs' and a pair of snazzy 'crocs'. 

  • When you enter the surgery you will see the gloves, masks and goggles the dentists and nurses wear.

  • On the clutter free sides you should also see at least 2 different types of surface disinfectors.

  • The instruments used for your care would have been previously stored in sealed bags or on lidded trays and you may also notice the 'dirty zone' with a red box in the corner of the surgery.

These are just a part of the policies and protocols used to provide an environment which is as infection free as possible and a result of the years of professional training and qualifications gained by all the team. This training is continually updated, allowing us to use latest and most advanced methods of infection control.


Perhaps the only downside to this clinical training is that our team do all tend to see the world as a "battleground of dangerous pathogens"! Everywhere we go and look we are confronted by potential biohazards and it is something now so deeply rooted within our psyche that at times it is more than a little wearing for our families (apparantly they are fed up of being told off for being messy and wiped down with disinfectant wipes).


I, personally, have the responsibility of keeping on top of the many logs and clinical audits we have in the Dental Practice, which involves spot checking my colleagues! Being 'Decontamination Lead' has earned me the affectionate nickname "Vitler" (my real name is Vicky, I will let you work out the rest!)


Although I am often joking with my colleagues that I am 'on my way to check their log books', it does of course have its serious side. As dental nurses, whilst a lot of the disinfecting and sterilising we do affects the environment on a microscopic level, it is impossible to measure visually the results we have achieved. We therefore have to carry out microbiological tests that allow us to actually see that we are doing a really great job!


Just two examples of how we do this are;

  1. We test the instruments used in surgery for traces of protein prior to sterilisation

  2. We test the dental water lines on the treatment chairs for levels of bacteria, viruses and fungi.

For this specialist equipment is used and the results recorded within our audit system.


At least once a week each nurse is given the results of these tests. The spot checks, testing and audit taking is done in order to prevent complacency in the job we do as well as allowing us to actively encourage each other in doing a great job. Without this system in place, it could be very easy for standards to slip, so the results are both reassuring and motivating and keep us at the top of our game.


Having to see the world as a 'biohazard' can sometimes be a little weary and feel like a curse. However, there can be no doubt that protecting patients is paramount at College Street Dental Centre, and therefore you can always be assured that the team that greet, meet and treat you will always be as far forwards into enemy grounds as possible when it comes to 'battling those pathogens' and keeping us safe.


To join a dental practice that is at the very forefront of infection control and medical technological advances contact us on info@smileabout.co.uk or telephone 01730 263180.


For further information or advice contact College Street Dental Centre in Petersfield, Hampshire on 01730 263180

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