As the leaves begin to change colors and the temperatures begin to cool down across the U.S., fall is certainly in the air. However, with the changing of the season also comes the time of year when the presence of respiratory illnesses increase. This year, that cocktail of potential illnesses could include influenza, new strains of COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
With these autumnal and winter threats to our health, what are some of the best practices for dental businesses to handle patients or team members who are ill? For that question and more, we turned to infection control expert Mary Govoni, CDA, RDH.
On the most recent episode of the "Dental Assistant Nation" podcast, Govoni sat down with me for an interview that lasts just under 17 minutes. In this fast-paced and informative back-and-forth conversation, we discussed several topics, including the need for dental practices to have a policy for its patients and team members when it comes to illnesses, as well as how to ensure team members aren’t met with frustration if they call in sick during a time when dental practices around the country are short-staffed.
“We need to be humans first and dental professionals second,” Govoni said during the podcast. “What would we do on a very human level? We need to create the type of culture within the practice that we talk about this and we agree on what is the policy. We also agree as a team that we’re going to follow that policy unless there is some really out-of-the-box reason why we have to forego following that policy in a given instance."
“However, the more you plan for situations to arise, the better you will handle them when they do,” Govoni said.
You can hear our conversation on this very timely and important topic by clicking below.