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OSHA Compliance: Are Things Changing? Do They Need to Change?

The Effects of COVID-19 on Dental Practices

Coronavirus has had a huge effect on how we are living our daily lives, from many staying home as much as possible to wearing masks while out. Scientists have also said that life will continue to be different as we wait for the curve to flatten out across the country and for a possible vaccine or treatment for the virus. As the infection curve begins to drop, many governors are allowing certain businesses to open back up. What will this mean for your dental practice? Will things change and if so, how will they change?

During the time of Coronavirus, things will most definitely need to change in order to protect everyone and to limit the spread of the virus. Many scientists have agreed that there will most likely be a new “normal” even after we have flattened the curve. It may be some time before a real treatment or a vaccine will be discovered and until then, we will need to exercise caution in all types of settings. Some scientists think there could be a resurgence of COVID-19 in the fall. And this will mean that even after flattening the curve, there will need to be changes to how we live daily life, including how we receive medical and dental treatment. 

Who Can be Treated

First, it is important to understand we have to stop or limit the spread of COVID-19 until a vaccine is found. We must all do our part, including using infection control procedures in dental facilities. Because of this, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended that during COVID-19, dental practices postpone elective procedures, surgeries and non-urgent dental visits and prioritize urgent and emergency visits. This recommendation also aligns with the recommendations from the American Dental Association (ADA),  the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) as well as the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In other words, all non-essential exams and procedures should be postponed until further notice. And by focusing on emergency dental visits in your office, you will also help alleviate the burden that dental emergencies would otherwise place on hospitals emergency departments. 

How to Treat Emergency Dental Patients with Coronavirus

If you have an emergency patient with known or suspected COVID-19, dental providers should follow interim guidance from the CDC for both dental settings and healthcare settings to ensure the safety of you and your office staff. Some of these steps include using proper PPE such as eye protection, masks, gowns and gloves. It is also recommended that during aerosol-generating procedures that your mask be an N95 respirator. All PPE should be thrown out after each patient visit, donning new PPE for every patient you see in your office. If you cannot follow this guidance, the CDC recommends that you work with colleagues and other medical providers to determine the appropriate facility for treatment. The urgency and need for a procedure should be based on your clinical judgement and made on a case-by-case basis. 

Keeping Your Clinic Clean

Keeping things in your clinic sterile and clean has probably always been a priority for you, however, it is of even more importance now. In order to limit the spread of Coronavirus, it is recommended that you implement a heavier disinfecting protocol in your clinic. This means that you should disinfect all surfaces in your examination rooms before a new patient enters. These surfaces should include but not be limited to: the dental chair, dental lights, countertops and drawer handles. It is also recommended that you cover some equipment with protective covers that are replaced after each cleaning of the exam room. Be sure that you and your staff also thoroughly disinfect all non-disposable tools between each patient. Before seeing a patient and putting on a new pair of gloves, your whole team needs to wash their hands thoroughly as well. 

Don’t forget to disinfect any areas in your lobby that your patients may have come into contact with, such as the reception desk and door handles. Only have one patient in your office at a time and the patient should come by themselves. If they need a ride home after a procedure, their driver should wait outside. 

Keeping Your Employees Safe

Not only do you want to ensure that your patients are safe, but your employees as well. If an employee suspects they have Coronavirus or has come into contact with someone with a known case, do not allow them to come into the office for two weeks. If they are not showing any symptoms after two weeks, it should be safe for them to come back to work. Remember that there can be asymptomatic carriers of the virus so you and your dental staff should practice social distancing as much as possible and wear masks when needed, even when there isn’t a patient in the office. Also, follow guidance from the CDC and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to keep you and your employees safe. 

In the Future: After the Curve Flattens

No one really knows what to expect in the future, other than that things will have to change until a vaccine is found. Many are referring to this as a “new normal.” At some point, you should be able to start seeing patients for non-emergency procedures and check-ups. You will need to continue to heavily clean and disinfect your clinic and it may be that you will only be able to have one patient at a time in your office. Now and in the future, you will need to continue to follow the guidance of the ADA, ADHA, CDC and OSHA to protect you, your staff and your patients. Remember, we are all in this together and must all do our part to help limit and stop the spread of COVID-19.

Main Hiring Mistakes Dentists Make And How to Avoid Them

Finding great employees for your dental practice can be a hard thing to do, especially if you are new to the role of hiring others to work for you. But there are also some common mistakes dentists make when hiring staff. Fortunately, these mistakes can be avoided.  Continue reading “Main Hiring Mistakes Dentists Make And How to Avoid Them”

Ways to Attract Top Talent for Your Dental Practice

What You Can Offer to Attract and Retain Great Employees 

Attracting and retaining top talent to your dental practice can have a huge impact on your practice’s performance and bottom line. Whether you are just starting out with your practice or you have been dealing with the ongoing challenge of worker turnover, these tips will help you attract and maintain that top caliber talent your business needs to succeed.  Continue reading “Ways to Attract Top Talent for Your Dental Practice”

5 Ways to Keep Your Top Talent

Tips to Retain Your Best Dental Staff

It’s essential to any business to retain your top talent. These are the employees you just can’t live without. They are hardworking, always pushing to improve themselves, and doing their best for the team without complaint. When it comes to keeping your top talent, it is important to understand that not everyone is driven by money. The real key to retaining your best dental staff is by acknowledging those great employees.  Continue reading “5 Ways to Keep Your Top Talent”

5 Ways To Make Your Staff Advocates Or Ambassadors Of Your Practice

Your staff is your most valuable asset. So why not use your happy and productive employees to their full potential? 

Over the past few years, branding, and marketing strategies have changed do to our increasingly digital and social world. Many companies are starting to understand the value of being social and encouraging their own employees to be an extension of their marketing and sales strategy. Having your staff be advocates, or ambassadors, of your practice is a valuable way to implement that social strategy.  Continue reading “5 Ways To Make Your Staff Advocates Or Ambassadors Of Your Practice”

Why your practice needs defined job descriptions:

Does your practice have job descriptions? 

 

Better yet . . . does your practice have job descriptions that are written out, defined, and shared with the team? Or are they all still up in your head? 

One of the biggest problems we see with the practices we work with is not having roles clearly defined into job descriptions. This leads to inconsistent expectations between staff and managers, can lead to higher turnout, and ultimately a difficult working environment.  Continue reading “Why your practice needs defined job descriptions:”

Top Interview Blunders To Watch For

Looking for a job? You’ll want to pay attention to this.

Hiring for a job? Watch for these warning signs in applicants.

Whether you’re hiring or looking for a job, you will want to watch for these signs in an interview. These are signals that the candidate is not meeting basic professional standards. Interviews are a time when people often want to put their best foot forward. If they aren’t doing that for you in an interview, do you think they’ll be much better when they are in everyday work situations? Here are the top six most common interview blunders that can be big turnoffs in the hiring process:  Continue reading “Top Interview Blunders To Watch For”

How to Attract & Keep The Right Staff For Your Dental Practice

The right team is a rare gem for many dental practices and when you find the right people, you want to make sure they stick around. So, what can you do to attract and keep the right talent? How can you keep people engaged with your team and excited to come in each day? The truth is that there ARE a few strategic things you can do to attract the right fit for your staff and you CAN do specific things to help keep them on board.  Continue reading “How to Attract & Keep The Right Staff For Your Dental Practice”

Considering becoming a dental assistant?

Have you thought about becoming a dental assistant?

 

Ever wondered what it takes? The need for dental assistants continues to grow year after year so now is the time to get into it!

Entry into Dentistry

Are you uncertain about being in the dental field? Well consider this! You can become an assistant in between four months and two years. No 4-year degree needed to dip your toes in before taking the plunge.  Continue reading “Considering becoming a dental assistant?”

Just Graduated? Ready to get to it?! 

Most new graduates come out in May or June and are hungry to sink their teeth into some of the work they have been studying for years! Graduates want to do meaningful work in a supportive work environment. They want to be well-compensated for the great jobs they are doing. 

Here are some quick tips on how to get a position you like and keep it!  Continue reading “Just Graduated? Ready to get to it?! “