25 August 2009
Q. My practice has recently been remodelled with the intention of making sedation available for those patients seeking this method of making it possible for them to undergo dental treatment. Can you tell me if the dental nurses assisting in the process need any particular training?
Now that the whole practice team, including dental nurses, are registered with the General Dental Council, it is every registrant's duty to ensure that they are competent and have received adequate training for the tasks that they are to perform, in this instance, conscious sedation.
The GDC in its Guidance Document Standards for Dental Professionals makes reference specifically to conscious sedation at the rear of the document. It refers registrants to the Department of Health's Guidance A Conscious Decision and it is important that all registrants intending to be involved with the provision of sedation are conversant with this guidance.
The above guidance makes reference to suitable monitoring and the other source of relevant information would be the Resuscitation Council. In particular, the document entitled Medical Emergencies and Resuscitation.
This includes a foreword by the General Dental Council and therefore full compliance with the Resuscitation Council's recommendations should satisfy the General Dental Council.
It is worth regularly checking the GDC's website or asking, via the website, to be sent regular email updates from the GDC. In this way it is possible to keep abreast of all developments at the Council and the documents Scope of Practice and Principles of Team Working would be relevant to your enquiry.
Dental nurses certainly do need to be trained in sedation to be involved in its administration and all team members need to be fully up to date with their CPR training to deal with emergencies, should they arise.