We continue the second part of this two-part series focusing on dental infection prevention and patient and provider safety. Dr. Teresa J. Irizarry and Dr. Ana López Fuentes, who help oversee infection control protocol at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Science Campus’ dental clinic, discuss infection control protocol changes, who is ultimately responsible for infection control and whether anything will change because of Monkeypox.
During the month of September we celebrate many special occasions such as the National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15), Suicide Prevention Week (Sept. 4-10) and International Chocolate Day (Sept 13). We also celebrate Dental Infection Control Awareness Month throughout September.
This year’s #DICAM22 theme is “Staying in the Know Together”. Therefore, I’m sharing the knowledge and opinions of Dr. Teresa J. Irizarry and Dr. Ana López Fuentes, members of a committee that oversees infection control protocol at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Science Campus’ dental clinic. I interviewed them because of their rigorous training and experience in Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention, an association for oral health care professionals that focuses on dental infection prevention and patient and provider safety.
September not only marks the beginning of cooler weather and fall fashion but also Dental Infection Control Awareness Month.
Each year the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention dedicates this month to providing the dental community with information and materials to stay current with the latest dental infection control guidelines and to ensure every dental visit is safe. This year OSAP is focusing on hand hygiene, dental unit waterlines, PPE and instrument reprocessing.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted what can happen when underestimating the power of microorganisms or protein entities to facilitate the spread of a virus or disease. Patients and the dental team should both feel protected from risks of disease transmission. This comes from adequate knowledge about current infection control and safety practices.
As dental students and soon-to-be dentists we are groomed to juggle many things at once and multi-task to the max.
Know the patient’s allergies. Recall last semester’s pain lecture. Cavicide the chair. Recite procedure protocols. Always remain pleasant and professional.
These are just a few tasks we perform daily. Aside from meeting constant academic and clinical expectations, we also work to maintain our personal lives. Sunrise to sundown is usually set for us, filling all the time slots with the most to the least priorities in our lives.
We often hear time management is our best friend while in school. The truth is, time isn’t on our side. We battle each day with our inner selves to choose the “most important” item on the to-do list, and what items to keep for the day or push to the next. It’s exhausting.
I have always loved to read. When I started, I remember being in awe of the characters created within the stories — how I could be a witness to their thoughts and emotions, how I felt like they were my friends and, in a way, how I could find pieces of myself in each of them. Naturally, my love of reading turned into a passion for writing.
Stress levels these days are undoubtedly higher than in the past but are elevated in students pursuing higher education. It is essential to find ways to cope with and reduce stress and prevent it from tainting the otherwise exciting experience of the dental school journey.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most challenging times I have faced. Being isolated and joining classes that were 100% virtual was a big challenge for me. I started my first year of dental school entirely online without knowing any of my classmates or anything about the school. …