Importance of Enhancing Infection Control Compliance

Alahmedi, Farah, Nadeen Gagi, Nawal Seblani, Michele Hopkins, and Sanjay Chand

The purpose of this study was to investigate whether proper infection control is practiced in DS4, DS3, DH2, and DH1 pre-clinic. It was observed by the investigators that students at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry were not consistently practicing infection control measures outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Using an observational study model including a checklist, the knowledge and role of the health care provider with respect to personal protective equipment (PPE) and compliance with the use of protective agents such as barriers, glove placement/removal and proper protocol during and after appointments was assessed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, contaminated environmental surfaces provide an important potential source for transmission of health care-associated pathogens. Implementing HH (Hand Hygiene) methods prior to practicing on patients is shown to reduce the transmission of harmful bacteria, as well as wiping down the unit completely using the guidelines implemented in early education instead of relying only on barriers for protection. This study confirmed our hypothesis that increased dental experience showed decreased infection control in the clinic. 4th year dental students showed less compliance with infection control protocols compared to DS3 students. DH2 students showed better compliance than DS4, DS3 and DH1 pre-clinic students. Least compliance was shown among DS4 students. Based on these findings, investigators recommend closer monitoring of infection control practices and re-evaluate grading of these procedures.