Infection control…it’s in your hands

Infection control…it’s in your hands

To prevent transmission of infection in the dental practice through our hands, all team members, including you as a trainee dental nurse, should be trained in and adhere to the content and principles of their local hand hygiene policy.

By adhering to local policy and taking guidance from the Department of Health’s technical memorandum 01-05 in Decontamination in Primary Care Dental Care, we fulfill our moral, professional and legal obligations in complying with:

• The Health and social care Act 2008 regulated by Care Quality commission through Regulations 8, 12, 15 and 17
• The General Dental Councils Professional standards

To ensure adequate hand hygiene, all dental team members must stick to the following principles….

1. Finger nails must be short and clean with no varnish or false nails.

2. Jewellery must not be worn on the arms or hands during clinical or decontamination procedures apart from a single wedding ring.

3. Separate hand wash basins are provided in each surgery which:
– decontamination procedures are not carried out in.
– do not have plugs
– have lever operated mixer taps which can be switched off with the elbow
– do not discharge directly into the open drain opening (to avoid generating aerosol)
-liquid soap dispensers are located in close proximity
– have next to or above them posters depicting appropriate hand washing techniques

4. Alcohol based skin disinfectant/hand rubs/hand gels may be used between each patient procedure. They must be manufactured with hand disinfecting purposes. The amount of times the rub can be used is determined by the manufacturer’s instructions or hand must be wash with an antimicrobial soap and water if the hands become sticky due to build-up of alcohol rub. Under no circumstance should gel be used to disinfect disposable glove, it damages the barrier protection and are strictly single use.

5. Hands should be washed with a mild soap and water after each decontamination procedure, after each session (or earlier if visibly contaminated) with the recommended technique as demonstrated on wall mounted posters above or near designated hand washing sinks

6. Hands should be dried using the disposable towels provided and disposed of in the foot operated bins.

7. Hand cream should be used at the end of each session to prevent dry skin. It is recommend not be used before donning heavy duty or disposable gloves as the moist environment will allow microbial colonisation.

8. Bar soap should never be used

9. Nail brushes should be not used as they can cause skin abrasions which can harbour microorganisms.

10. All staff carrying out clinical and decontamination procedures are registered dental professionals or are registered on a recognised dental nursing course whilst working as a trainee dental nurse.

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