Module Learning Outcomes
- Gain an overview of micro-organisms and methods of transmission – the ‘why’ of what we do.
- Understand Standard Precautions and each component of these together with their role in breaking the infectious cycle.
- Identify where Standard Precautions can fail and considerations to achieve them.
- Know the integral role cleaning plays in the entire infection prevention process.
In this topic we define the meaning of the overarching Standard Precautions statement. We also consider why Standards Precautions are a critical element of Infection Prevention and Control.
In this topic we look at ‘the why’ of Infection Prevention and Control. Understanding the potential for the spread of infectious diseases and how to prevent these is critical in the dental environment. Knowing how microorganisms are able to multiply and spread are important factors in the correct implementation of Standard Precautions.
Hand Hygiene plays a critical role in managing the spread of infectious diseases. Many common bacteria are spread by hand to hand contact and hand to surface contact. There are important considerations to achieving good Hand Hygiene outcomes in our practices and we will look at these and their limitations.
Personal Protective Equipment or PPE as it is commonly referred to, is the first line of defence for keeping dental team members safe from infectious disease. PPE forms part of Standard Precautions and requires correct implementation and wearing to be effective. PPE also has its limitations and understanding these can improve the level of protection.
In this topic we will cover personal hygiene aspects that are additional to the use of PPE. Although transmission of pathogenic microorganisms via any of these material items is unlikely, attention to these do help to keep the dental team safe and healthy.
There is always the risk in the dental practice that patients will arrive to appointments and be visibly ill. This topic covers the risks this may pose and also management strategies to minimise cross infection and keep the team and other patients well.
Many dental procedures generate high volume of aerosol contamination. In this topic we look at the potential risks of aerosol contamination and strategies to minimise and manage the risks.
In this topic we will discuss how we isolate and manage zones within the treatment room to improve cleaning outcomes. Zoning identifies our cleaning priorities and what the minimum requirements are for cleaning between patients.
In this topic we discuss cleaning requirements for surfaces in the dental treatment room. Effective cleaning limits microorganisms’ ability to reproduce. We will differentiate between detergents and disinfectants and where they apply in the cleaning process.
In this topic we define clinical waste and how we manage it. Dental practices have a responsibility to ensure waste is well managed to protect public safety beyond the practice itself. Safe management and disposal plays a critical role in reducing the risk of injury from contaminated sharp items.