Dental infection control knowledge and education have always been important, but they have become even more critical in recent months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, dental equipment manufacturer A-dec supported its territory managers in earning a rigorous educational dental infection control certificate.
Developed by the Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) and the DALE Foundation, the official affiliate of the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB), earning the OSAP-DALE Foundation Dental Infection Prevention and Control Certificate requires completing online educational modules and then passing an assessment.
This summer, 70 A-dec territory managers earned the OSAP-DALE Foundation Dental Infection Prevention and Control Certificate. These managers are among 600 oral health-care professionals to complete the certificate program as of July 31, 2020.
Investing in education
A-dec vice president of global sales and marketing Tim Long said it was important to A-dec to invest in the OSAP-DALE Foundation Dental Infection Prevention and Control Certificate Program. “We wanted to equip our territory managers with knowledge on infection prevention and control that is directly tied to the dental industry and based on national standards,” he says.
Territory managers are in the unique position of being a trusted resource to oral health-care providers and are often a primary source of dental infection prevention and control information.
“Being a resource for practitioners and colleagues throughout the dental industry is something we value a great deal,” Long continues. “We know that doctors are going to have questions as they’re getting back to work, and we want to be their sounding board and offer guidance based on the takeaways of this program. Territory managers are now able to make recommendations for improvements in dental infection prevention and control practices, referencing evidence-based sources that support any modifications to dental facility protocols.”
Elevated customer support
A-dec territory managers agree that through completing the OSAP-DALE Foundation Certificate Program, they’re better able to support their customers and successfully answer questions related to infection prevention and control.
“With increased knowledge and awareness of infection prevention and control, I have numerous additional opportunities to support our dental customers and dealer partners, to address the challenges they face on a daily, weekl,y and monthly basis, to help ensure the safety of patients and dental team members,” says Shane Bangs, territory manager based in Oregon.
Additionally, A-dec territory managers say they now have the boosted confidence to drive better, evidence-based communication with their customers, including dentists.
“The knowledge that I gained through the OSAP-DALE Foundation Certificate Program will help me to effectively speak to doctors, dealers, and school and government clinics about infection prevention and control,” says Jim Dawson, territory manager based in Colorado. “I now have a better understanding of materials management and instrument processing, for example, areas that I had knowledge of previously, but not to the extent that I have now. I feel that the OSAP-DALE Foundation training will be something that I use in my career for years to come.”
Career growth investment
Now equipped with heightened knowledge and confidence, A-dec territory managers also find they have a renewed appreciation for the benefit of continuing education, which can help them stand out professionally.
“As I got into the depths of the OSAP-DALE Foundation Certificate Program, I found that there were so many areas on which I could improve my knowledge of infection prevention and control. It was challenging, and I enjoyed pushing myself to learn,” reflects Roy Fried, territory manager based in Wisconsin.
“I remember coming into the dental business around 29 years ago. Within five or six years, I set my sights on becoming an A-dec territory manager like one of my mentors, the most professional representative with whom I worked,” Fried continues. “He knew things that other manufacturers didn’t know and always carried himself with confidence. It is the foresight of our management team by providing education like this that keeps us learning, growing, and ahead of the competition.”
Poised for future success
Territory managers with A-dec look forward to future opportunities to continue demonstrating their expertise in the critical area of infection prevention and control.
For example, after earning the OSAP-DALE Foundation Dental Infection Prevention and Control Certificate, A-dec territory managers will go one step further and earn professional certification through OSAP and the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB). The OSAP-DANB Dental Industry Specialist in Infection Prevention and Control (DISIPC) is the first professional infection control certification for dental equipment and supply manufacturers and distributors. This certification is in development and expected to be available by late next year.
“As part of a long-term goal, completing this rigorous education program elevates our territory managers to an expert level and positions them to pursue DISIPC certification in 2021,” says Long.
To learn more about the OSAP-DALE Foundation Certificate Program, visit dentalinfectioncontrol.org/education/.