The COVID-19 pandemic has raised questions for businesses as far as how to safely reopen, and this is especially the case for healthcare and dentistry. While the curve is flattening in Canada, there is still no vaccine and the novel coronavirus remains at large, so any plan for reopening a dental practice will need to be a carefully thought-out one with the safety of all parties involved being the utmost priority.
Regardless of which phase in the reopening process your dental practice is, you have to go about it carefully and make sure it’s done in a way where all parties involved will be safe. Here are some tips for how to safely and expertly reopen your dental practice during a crisis.
Disinfect and Sterilize Your Practice Before Reopening During a Crisis
The first order of business for any dental hygienist looking to reopen during a time such as the COVID-19 pandemic is to make sure safety precautions are in place. This includes disinfecting all high-touch items and surfaces wherever necessary, sterilizing dental instruments, and enforcing physical distancing measures throughout the practice. Make sure seats in the waiting room are sufficiently distanced from one another, and put tape on the floor to indicate where clients should be standing. It’s of the utmost importance to make sure that your practice is as clean and safe as possible for clients, as well as in compliance with provincial health regulations.
Make Sure You Communicate Regularly With Clients on All Updates
Communication will be important to your work when you become a dental hygienist, and especially so during a crisis. Stay in regular contact with your clients, such as via email, to inform them of any updates with regards to the practice’s reopening. Examples include if your practice is only going to be accepting clients in emergency situations, or if you simply need to inform them of the importance of wearing PPE and practicing physical distancing when they arrive for their appointment. Keeping contact with clients is an easy way to update them on developments with regards to reopening and with their future appointments, as well as a way to show you’re there for them and care for their safety.
Those Wanting to Become a Dental Hygienist Must Reopen Slowly, Not All at Once
Students in dental hygienist training should also recognize that it is unwise to fully reopen all at once during this moment in time. For example, appointments should be scheduled in a staggered fashion, so it’s best to limit capacity in the dental practice and spread appointment times out more widely than usual. When you do admit clients again after a health crisis like COVID-19, check their temperature as they’re entering, and ask them if they’ve been exhibiting symptoms or been in contact with anyone who is infected. While helping clients with their oral health remains important even in crisis situations, the best course of action is to reopen the practice softly, and that threats to anyone’s safety can be swiftly avoided.
Do you want to take courses at a dental hygienist school?
Contact the Canadian Academy of Dental Hygiene to find out more!