March 29, 2018
by Joyce Trencio, Executive Director, DC Institute
Developing good habits is an incredibly important part of ensuring that your clinic maintains the best Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) standards. However, this is often easier said than done. Upholding standards can sometimes feel onerous because current training programs available are not designed to be habit-forming.
What’s Available Today for Dental Care Professionals
Some provincial public health organizations, who oversee IPAC, offer their own IPAC training. For example, Public Health Ontario offers an IPAC Core Competencies Course. Courses like these are often free and provide the confidence that you are being trained on the correct information. However, the drawback is that these government training programs are designed to cover guidelines for all health care practitioners. For dental care professionals, this means sifting through a lot of irrelevant information.
Dental-specific programs are available, which tailor information to cover only the guidelines and procedures that are relevant to you and your practice. These courses can save time and money, however, without the application of information to real-life scenarios, the transfer of knowledge to the job can be limited. How long will you and your team remember what has been taught if the learning process is based on memorization and repetition?
For this reason, training mandates often seem cumbersome. The solution to overcoming this point of view is not more frequent training or additional oversight, because neither solve the underlying problem. When protocols and standards are not clearly articulated in a way that relates to an individual working in a dental clinic, it becomes difficult for staff to understand the reason behind routine practices and seemingly additional precautions. Individuals need to understand the “why”.
Filling the Gaps for Dental Professionals
DC Institute, an AGD PACE-approved Provider, offers continuing education courses for dentists and their teams across Canada. DC Institute has identified the gap in training options available and developed a propriety, dental-specific IPAC Training Program (Ontario only at the moment). The program creates an engaging and relatable learning process, while making it easier to use the guidelines in everyday practice. The DC Institute IPAC Training Program leverages scenario-based learning to improve retention and on-the-job performance after training.
Scenario-Based Learning for Higher Retention
The approach of this scenario-based learning program is to explain procedures in a context that the trainee is familiar with, while also demonstrating the rationale behind each rule. With this approach, storytelling is used to engage our emotions and trigger both long and short-term memory.
The example below, from the Reprocessing section of the DC Institute IPAC Training Program, presents a familiar practice situation where someone could be tempted to cut corners. Using characters and a relatable scenario, the training program builds a narrative around each lesson. After the training, if you or an employee were to find yourselves in a similar predicament, remembering the story from DC Institute’s training, recognizing the similarities, and having the knowledge to make the correct choice, is much more likely than if the information was presented as part of a generic list.
The above example is taken from the beginning of the lesson and introduces the dilemma before explaining the answer. This structure is designed to promote and enable more critical thinking in the training process.
Evidence has shown that people who have learned to think critically are more likely to complete a task well, on an ongoing basis, in comparison to someone who has memorized steps and is going through the motions.
Through the scenario-based IPAC Training Program, people are encouraged to take the knowledge that they have learned and apply it to relatable scenarios, making the training more interactive and compelling. Applied learning gives your staff the knowledge and skills to deliver the best in patient care.
Try the Course
As dental care professionals, the health and safety of your patients is your highest priority. Providing your team with the training and resources that they need is the first step in ensuring that you create the safest environment possible for your patients
If your practice is based in Ontario, try DC Institute’s IPAC Training Program at 25% off for a limited time. Register for the course and learn more here. Use the coupon code ORALHEALTH25 to receive the discount.
If you are interested in knowing when this course becomes available in your province, click here to provide your details.
About DC Institute
DC Institute inspires personal and professional development through an enriched learning experience, providing its members the resources needed to advance the patient care agenda. DC Institute’s flexible curriculum is delivered through an expansive eLearning platform, and live training sessions at venues across Canada. DC Institute is an AGD PACE-approved Provider. For inquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
To learn more about DC Institute, and to view upcoming courses, please visit www.dcinstitute.ca.
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