3 Awareness Concerns for Dental Office Assistants
What do diabetes, gum disease, and COVID-19 have in common? These three conditions are all huge considerations for someone currently working in a Dental Office Assistant position. This group of healthcare workers must consider how these different health conditions affect their patients, as well as the evolving landscape of modern medicine and keeping good habits.
The relationship between COVID-19 and pre-existing health conditions such as diabetes is evident, with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reporting that patients with diabetes are six times more likely to be hospitalized after contracting COVID, than someone without diabetes. Trouble managing blood sugar levels during a pandemic due to changing health habits, lack of resources available, or inconsistent medical visits/insurance can be contributing factors that eventually lead to gum disease or COVID-19 hospitalization.
Healthcare employees hold necessary jobs to care for patients on a regular basis, but with unexpected situations that occur, like COVID, their roles in society are amplified to an even higher regard. Those who assist in the dental office environment bring awareness to existing conditions and are also required to follow protocol in these special, emerging circumstances as well. Certification programs are a great way to transition into this popular job field.
Diabetes is a chronic illness that Dental Office Assistants should familiarize themselves with. People who have diabetes are more likely to have gum-related illnesses because, due to their pre-existing condition, they have higher risks of contracting infections, especially if they do not have their condition under control. Diabetes and gum disease often go hand-in-hand because of this, and when someone develops gum disease in addition to having diabetes, it can often make it harder for them to control their blood sugar levels.
When the two conditions act up simultaneously, patients are at an even higher risk for complications. As the healthcare providers, Dental Office Assistants have a huge role in encouraging diabetic patients to practice good dental care habits at regular check-up appointments. Dental Office Assistants play a huge role in the care of diabetic patients, alongside diabetes educators, because they work in close proximity of patients’ mouths in this realm of work.
Another risk that Dental Office Assistants need to be aware of is gum disease in diabetic patients. People who have diabetes are 3 times more likely to have oral health issues than those who do not have diabetes. Knowing about and being able to recognize this link can better help healthcare providers educate, screen for, and treat gum disease that is linked to diabetes or poor oral health habits.
Encouraging patients to follow their diabetic self-management plan, brush their teeth twice daily, floss, replace their toothbrush every few months, schedule regular dental visits, and avoid smoking are suggestions every Dental Office Assistant should be aware of so that they can relay that information to their patients who will hopefully develop good habits and avoid developing gum-related illnesses.
Risk of COVID-19
Other added risks that Dental Office Assistants should be aware of are those associated with COVID-19. Healthcare facilities are generally held to a high standard of cleanliness; this includes regularly keeping high-touch areas sterilized and discarding used equipment in a prompt manner. By keeping up with best practices on a regular basis, Dental Office Assistants and others working in healthcare facilities are better prepared for extreme safety measures that need to be taken during a pandemic, like the one currently happening.
Since Dental Office Assistants are in direct contact with patients, it is very important that they are aware of the risks associated with contracting or potentially spreading the virus. Emphasizing the importance of wiping down surfaces, enforcing proper safety protocols, such as wearing masks, encouraging social distancing, and reassuring both employees and patients that their health is of the utmost concern are all excellent awareness practices for people in this career field to consider.
Blackstone Career Institute
Are you looking to get started in a healthcare career and don’t know where to start? Blackstone Career Institute offers a variety of allied health certificates, including Dental Office Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, and Medical Billing and Coding to help jumpstart your career. Discover valuable resources and information through the link to our website and get started today!