This week’s TIPisode is with Noel Brandon-Kelsch.
Closed containers– how important are they and what do you need to consider when finding the best product for your practice– that is what this TIPisode is all about!
Send in your infection control questions! Noel would love to answer them for you.
Medicom sponsors this episode. Head over to their website and learn more about their products to keep you and your patient protected
Noel Brandon-Kelsch is an international speaker, writer, Registered Dental Hygienist in Alternative Practice and Director of Cabrillo College Dental Hygiene Program. She is passionate about oral health and has the uncanny ability to motivate and enlighten audiences through her unique humor and cutting edge information. She takes the tough subject matter and presents it in such an exciting way that it becomes thought-provoking even to those not involved in her industry.
Noel is an infection control guru and is going to bring us tips that can make use more informed clinicians!
Check out her webpage noelkelsch.com
For your viewing pleasure this TIPisode has been transcribed:
Michelle Strange: A Tale of Two Hygienists presents this week’s TIPisode: Quick and easy tips to keep you up to date, and presented by the experts in the profession. Now, get ready for your unofficial TIPisode.
Noel Kelsch: Greetings. For today’s TIPisode, we have a great little question that came from a listener. This listener is very concerned about an assistant in their practice that’s been grabbing instruments with a patient exam glove and carrying them into sterilization. Her question is is there any law or regulation that she can share with them?
I want to thank that listener for brining this question forward because it is something that we all have to be thinking about. One of the things that we have to be really focused on is determining in our day-to-day practices and how we can minimalize the handling of instruments that are sharp and are contaminated from treatment.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevent recommend that we all minimalize the handling of instruments. Looking for things we can do to bring exposure down is one of our main goals as we go through the process of keeping everyone safe, the patient and ourselves.
It goes on from here though. I think that we have to stop for a minute and look and see what the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, or OSHA, has in mind because their goal is to keep the employee safe, and they mandate Bloodborne Pathogens standards.
So what do they have to say? Well, what they have to say is contaminated, sharp instruments must be — and that’s a word “must” — be transported in a closed, puncture-resistant container. It’s that simple.
Accidents can happen when instruments are carried in the hand or on an open tray. Things can happen. We can trip. We can fall. Someone can bump into us. Make sure you have addressed those concerns ahead of time. It can make all the difference. So look at what it is you’re already doing, see what it is you can do to make that better.
There are a variety of things you can use for safe transport of contaminated instrument. If your practice uses plastic trays, they have these wonderful little snap-on lids that you can place right on the tray. This helps prevent instruments from falling or, if you trip, from you being exposed or patients being exposed.
There are some great other containers, too, that were designed especially for this procedure and for this purpose. My recommendation is you look at these. They come in tubs. They have lids that come on. I’ve had a variety of them in my setting, and here’s the things that I’m looking for.
Number one, I want them to be leakproof. I don’t want anything dripping out. I don’t want the possibility of any other potentially infectious material getting onto surfaces.
Number two, puncture resistant. We don’t want anything to be able to poke out the side.
Number three, and this is one of the big things for me, is that they’re easy to open and easy to close because when I’m working with sharps after patient care, I should have utility gloves on, which are a little more bulky. So I need to have something that’s easy to open and easy to close.
Number four, which is going to be appearance, is that they don’t stain from chemicals, some of the chemicals you might be using in the back as well as some of the chemicals you might find on the tray.
My policy is that the clinician puts the instruments into the cassette after they finish with the patient, closes the lid to the cassette, and the person cleaning the room puts that cassette into the leakproof, sharps-resistant container with the secured lid. That way we’ve got two things protecting us.
It’s the little things we do each day that help keep patients and clinicians safe. Take the time to look and see what you’re doing. One simple act of following OSHA requirements can make all the difference.
Thank you for your questions and keep them coming. Singing off. Noel Kelsch. And I want to thank Medicom at this time for helping sponsor this TIPisode.
Michelle Strange: We hope you enjoyed this week’s TIPisode. Be sure to reach out to our guest experts and let them know how helpful their tips were. Follow A Tale of Two Hygienists on Facebook, Instagram, and head over to ataleoftwohygienists.com and subscribe to our newsletter. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and keep listening for more awesome content from your unofficial dental hygiene podcast.