A look at one practice’s infection prevention and control CPD journey.
Manjit Gill has worked in the dental sector since she left school. Now practice manager at the Smile Practice in Didcot, she has a wealth of real-world experience.
However, Manjit knows the running a dental practice requires a commitment to life-long learning. That is why she and her fellow practice staff recently signed up for a dental unit waterline management and legionella continuing professional development (CPD) training course.
The online course is run by specialists in dental decontamination – Aura Infection Control – specifically for staff looking to broaden their knowledge by learning industry best practise as demonstrated by the experts.
Manjit says, “I have been the practice manager here for 13 years, but I haven’t nursed for more than a decade. Although I have kept abreast of new developments, I felt it would be useful to have a refresher course.
“When I looked around, the course run by Aura Infection Control stood out for me. Aura has a well-deserved national reputation for professionalism, and I wanted to learn from the best.”
But Manjit didn’t just sign up on her own – she brought with her the practice’s other dental nurses and three reception staff.
“Although the reception staff aren’t directly concerned with waterline safety, I thought the course would give them a better understanding of the subject and what our dental nursing staff are required to do.
“As a practice, good hygiene is the foundation of everything we do – and that has to start with the reception staff, who are the first point of contact for our patients. I must admit to wondering if they would find it interesting, but I need not have been worried. They finished the course as enthused as the rest of us.”
Manjit puts the success of the course down to the teachers and the teaching materials, saying, “Everything is explained in a clear and logical manner. Obviously, due to the pandemic, we weren’t able to have face-to-face training but that didn’t pose a problem when the teaching is so clear and the support materials so good.
“Everyone felt able to learn at their own pace and all our questions were answered in a timely fashion.”
Aura’s training courses take 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 HTM01-05, to instrument inspection, cleaning and transportation is covered in exacting detail. The training is backed up with ‘hands on’ demonstration videos.
The online course was launched after the pandemic made it impossible for Aura to continue running its two-day residential training. Face-to-face training had to be conducted remotely. Aura was able to design an online course that covered the same ground but also gave delegates invaluable personal attention.
Dental nurses and technicians now have to complete a minimum of 50 hours verifiable continuing professional development (CPD) per five-year cycle. The Aura training counts towards that CPD total and thus represents excellent value for money.
Manjit was so impressed that she has already signed on for more training on infection control procedures and says she can't wait to get started later this month.
“And when I have finished the plan is to cascade my knowledge to other members of the practice,” she says.
“I’ve worked in the dental industry for more than 20 years, but the waterlines course proved to me that there’s always something new to learn.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has drawn public attention to good hygiene practises.
Manjit says, “Scrupulous hygiene has always been important in the dental practice but now our patients are more aware of it than ever before.
“They rightly expect us to demonstrate the highest standards and this training demonstrates our commitment to taking our standards to the next level.”
And she has some advice to any practice managers, dentists, nursing staff or technicians thinking about signing up for Aura’s training: “Just do it.”
Aura’s managing director Laura Edgar says, “We are delighted to hear that Manjit found our training course so useful and we are looking forward to welcoming here back to our virtual classroom this month.
“Good training is a sound investment for any forward-thinking dental practice. We believe our course teaches the techniques they need to make sure their infection control is second-to-none – something that is more important than ever during the pandemic.”