Your Exposure to Infectious Diseases at Work

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (6)

Cerritos College Grad in Placentia, California

28 months ago

How concerned are you about being exposed to pathogenic bacteria and viruses during your workdays?

Do you take any extra precautions (in addition to the usual preventive measures) such as washing your scrubs in color-safe bleach, wiping your shoes with Cavicide, taking a shower after work, wearing only high barrier face mask, using HVE (high volume evac) while using ultrasonic, minimizing the use of ultrasonic altogether, etc.. ?

Or have the majority of us assume that the dental setting is safe for the most part?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Cerritos College Grad in Placentia, California

28 months ago

bump

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (4) Reply - Report abuse

SoapBoxLady in Oceanside, California

28 months ago

When I first starting working as a hygienist, we didn't wear gloves or masks or shields. Then Aids arrived and changed everything. I was actually surprised that I didn't have the Hep B virus after so many years but I didn't when I was tested before getting the vaccination back when it was required. This goes to show you how really difficult it is to get these viruses unless it is put directly into your blood.

If the office that you are working in follows the OSHA laws and you use universal precautions, you should be just fine working in the dental office. I wear a mask plus a shield when using the ultrasonic. I wear
the same shoes at the office and never anywhere else. My lab coats are washed at the office and I do not take them home. Your office should provide and clean your scrubs for you or provide throwaway ones. That is the law in California. Do not become a crazy lady over all this because there is no need to. Just do what you were trained to do in school and make sure that your office follows the rules of OSHA and protects the employees and patients from disease transmission.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

Cerritos College Grad in Placentia, California

28 months ago

SoapBoxLady in Oceanside, California said: When I first starting working as a hygienist, we didn't wear gloves or masks or shields. Then Aids arrived and changed everything. I was actually surprised that I didn't have the Hep B virus after so many years but I didn't when I was tested before getting the vaccination back when it was required. This goes to show you how really difficult it is to get these viruses unless it is put directly into your blood.

If the office that you are working in follows the OSHA laws and you use universal precautions, you should be just fine working in the dental office. I wear a mask plus a shield when using the ultrasonic. I wear
the same shoes at the office and never anywhere else. My lab coats are washed at the office and I do not take them home. Your office should provide and clean your scrubs for you or provide throwaway ones. That is the law in California. Do not become a crazy lady over all this because there is no need to. Just do what you were trained to do in school and make sure that your office follows the rules of OSHA and protects the employees and patients from disease transmission.

Your comment is very helpful. Thanks for sharing your experience and insight!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

RDHCJ in Boston, Massachusetts

21 months ago

As a RDH I am not that worried. However I do make sure to properly wash my hands before putting on gloves and properly deglove by grabbing at the bottom inside of the glove and turning it inside out into the trash can. Then again washing my hands. I also do take my scrubs off at home and put them into a plastic shopping bag. Then when the bag is full I wash them together, by themselves separate from the other regular laundry, and I use a little bit of bleach in the wash with soap. Or I wash the colored scrubs then wash my white scrubs with bleach so I know the machine is clean. Always wash scrubs separate from normal clothes. And keep them in a separate hamper or bag away from everything else. I also will not hug anyone until I change out of the dirty scrubs.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

RDHCJ in Boston, Massachusetts

21 months ago

PS I also always have on my eye protection and a mask when working on patients. And I look at my gloves to make sure they aren't ripped before I touch the patient. As schools train RN nurses to do when they glove.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (3) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.