The March Madness frenzy has already begun…and hearts are breaking as quickly as brackets! But, you can definitely avoid a lot of heartbreak in your practice as we also celebrate American Red Cross Month, which gives us a great opportunity to visit your requirements and professional responsibilities when it comes to CPR.
Stated in Rule 108.7(5) and the Dental Practice Act Section 257.004, all licensees (Dentists, Registered Dental Hygienists, and Dental Assistants) must maintain a current certification in CPR (or more recently, Basic Life Support).
Just as your local fire department urges you to check or change the batteries in your smoke alarm with every Daylight Saving Time change, it might also be a good idea to let that be your cue to double-check the CPR certifications in your practice.
There are numerous venues to obtain and maintain certification. However, it must be noted, as a healthcare provider (and per state law) the CPR course work has to include a written evaluation AND a skills assessment. There are many online providers of CPR certification and those are fine, so long as candidates follow up and complete the skills assessment.
Any person can receive an exception from this CPR requirement with a licensed physician's written and signed statement describing the licensee’s physical incapacity to fulfill this requirement.
Overall, most Dental offices are good about maintaining current CPR training. However, I encourage Dentists to require all staff members to be certified in CPR. The training is literally quite cheap; in fact, it can be one of the most affordable investments you can make. Besides, you never know if they life they save will be your own.
Dental Board investigators can issue citations to any licensee who does not have proof of current CPR certification. It has been my experience that many Dental professionals keep their CPR cards in their wallets. There is really no reason to carry your CPR card in your wallet. To alleviate any chance of getting busted, simply attach your CPR to your Dental license and hang them both on the wall.
Celebrate Red Cross Month by checking and updating your CPR certification. And with the latest innovation in Virtual CPR available, you can save yourself a lot of heartache…literally!