As states across the nation begin allowing dental practices to reopen, the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA) offers hygienists interim guidance for returning to work. The guidelines include recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the ADA, and the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP).
The guidance covers:
- What dental hygienists should do prior to opening
- The work environment
- Patient preparation
- Personal protective equipment
- Special considerations
- A patient screening questionnaire
The ADHA recommends that all dental hygienists follow the Standards for Clinical Hygiene Practice, which says that they should “follow the most current guidelines to reduce the risks of health-care-associated infections in patients and illnesses and injuries in health care personnel.”
Plus, the ADHA encourages all dental hygienists to review the ADHA Code of Ethics and verify that their individual malpractice insurance is current prior to returning to work.
As regulations vary from state to state, the ADHA additionally is linking to the ADA’s state by state list that includes the latest updates on recommendations and mandates for each as well as how they impact dental practice. The ADHA says it will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.
Further, the interim guidance includes a Readiness to Return to Work Checklist to help hygienists determine if it is appropriate to return to work, noting that professional judgment should be exercised.