We asked Laura Edgar, managing director of Aura Infection Control, for the most important piece of advice she would provide dental practices right now.
‘Train and observe,’ said Laura. ‘Because of the skills changes, because of the pace of change in governance, compliance, legislation and guidance, we need to observe what is actually happening in our practices.
‘Handing out a policy and saying “that’s how we do it” is not sufficient. Your decontamination lead should be watching what is happening, observing, supporting and training. If they are not able to do that then they must be trained to be competent to do so.
‘A decon lead who has not had the latest training creates a house of cards and the most dangerous game of Jenga you have ever played.
‘All of these things rely on a good strong base. Your decon lead is one of those roles that can support the implementation of these changes. But they can’t do it if they are not trained.’
Patient and staff safety is paramount in the dental industry. While ultimately the responsibility cannot be discharged to another, the concept of effective training and utilising free, independent, external reviews and support should be grasped at every opportunity.
The Care Quality Commission specify that the decontamination lead must have role-specific training.
Aura delivers the highly-rated ILM Leadership and Management In Dental Decontamination – the UK’s foremost dental decon lead course.
It was specifically designed for dental leaders. This certified course is the one to choose. It gives the correct level of competence for this vital role.
Aura’s leading decontamination training course takes dental professionals step-by-step through the most effective cross-contamination control processes and how they should be implemented. Everything from cleaning and disinfecting dental unit waterlines to ensure compliance to HTM 01-05 to instrument inspection, cleaning and transportation is covered in exacting detail.
In addition, it also focuses on the human factor of leading a team – encouraging the development of leadership traits and how to effectively motivate teams.
Highly interactive, Aura’s decon lead course has garnered some impressive reviews. Dr Phillip Redfearn, of L&H Dentalcare in Hamilton, said: ‘Genuinely – probably the best decontamination course I’ve ever been on.’
Practice manager at Cleveland Terrace Dental Practice in Darlington Judy Bowes said: ‘This is far from a refresher course. I picked up some very useful tips. I’m already preparing to cascade my new knowledge down to the entire team.
‘I think we owe it to our staff and our patients to take this training very seriously indeed. And with dental clinics being audited annually as part of infection prevention and control audit programmes, it is imperative that they are working in accordance with HTM 01-05 requirements.’
Dental staff training
While a decon lead has responsibility for training. Ultimately, it comes down to the whole dental team to ensure all steps and protocols are being followed.
Staff team training will help to minimise any mistakes and ensure that the protocol is followed correctly. This can be either done as part of regular team meetings, or a dedicated ECPD team course can be completed.
‘Staff training is key,’ added Laura. ‘It is vital to keep staff trained on subjects such as waterline management and handpiece maintenance as these play an important part in the effectiveness of the practice.’
A suite of live ECPD courses covering many key aspects of dental decontamination and control is available to practices. Some of the most popular include Process and Steam Validation and Handpiece Maintenance and Processing.
They can be delivered live, and in-person or remotely for up to 15 delegates for a total of £175. Aura will even throw in a £50 voucher to be used in their online store.
The quality of training is incredibly important. Benjamin Franklin said: ‘Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.’ Rather than just watching videos and ticking boxes, Aura’s delivery is live and interactive.
Premium training from expert advisors is something that the best dental practices in the UK demand and Aura delivers.