Management of professional clothing - Capita selecta
Management of professional clothing
Effective personal protection during the treatments is obtained, among other things, by wearing a complete work outfit. Because practically always sitting in a sitting position with a recumbent patient, wearing a jacket with short sleeves, wearing a separate work trousers is a must. A pair of trousers catches the spatters that end up on the thighs when sitting in a sitting position. Wearing (removable) work shoes that are closed at the top protects the feet against falling sharp instruments and prevents micro-organisms that have landed on the floor around the treatment chair to be taken home.
The habit of putting on a clean outfit every working day is common use in the medical world. Not directly based on evidence-based outcomes, but as generally accepted good practice.
- Wearing headgear can have different backgrounds and thus vary in design. The head covering should not come into contact with the patient or patient material.
A Headscarf for dental care workers. B Headgear for dental care workers
- Long sleeves are not allowed. When it is cold in the winter (for example just after the weekend), the temptation must be resisted to wear a t-shirt (or sweater) with long sleeves under the practice clothes. They prevent the forearm cleaning during hand washing and, moreover, could easily come into contact with all kinds of clean and contaminated materials. This causes 'lubrication contamination'.
A, B Long sleeves cause lubrication contamination
- The color of the practice clothing is (usually) white or else a light pastel shade. Light-colored clothing fabric can easily be inspected for dirt and light colors unconsciously reinforce the feeling of cleanliness.
- The model of the outer clothing must be such that it does not have to be pulled out over the head. The contaminated front of the clothing could then come into contact with the face, possibly also with the mucous membranes of the mouth and eyes. The preference is therefore for clothing that has a zipper or (press) buttons and that can be put on and taken off like a blouse.
- As a washing instruction for sufficient cleaning, the outer clothing must be able to be washed at a minimum of 60 ° C. Naturally, the clothing must be colourfast in the long run. Preferably also of user-friendly so-called no-iron quality, (not ironing).
A Washing instructions 60 ° C strict condition professional clothing. B Program the washing machine at a minimum of 60 ° C
- Bags in professional clothing may only be used with clean hands, because otherwise they will become a 'pass-through' of germs from the practice. It is better not to use them at all and only to assign a design function.
Although the use of smartphones is fully established by employees of today's dental practice, it is not permitted to wear this equipment during work in clothing because of proper infection prevention. Resisting the temptation to read or send a message in between, while the smartphone is within reach, could be a torment for many people.
- Practical shoes must be provided with a cleanable surface, so that visible contamination by blood can be easily removed. Shoes with laces are therefore less suitable. Preference is given to loafers. Shoes must be able to stand side by side in an orderly manner. A double-height shoe rack can save space.
A Practical shoes on the floor or on a shoe rack. B Wall hooks only for private clothing
Requirements dressing room
The secret to a good dressing room in oral care practice is sufficient space! On the one hand because one can then easily move during dressing and on the other hand because then a hygienic separation between private and practical clothing is possible.
- It is most obvious when one side of the changing room is intended for private clothing and another for practical clothing. This prevents the private clothing from being contaminated
Supported professional clothing is in fact only hung in the event of a brief interruption of the working day, for example for a walking lunch or a message. At all other times when the professional clothing is taken out, it must be deposited directly in a laundry basket.
- Lockers can be a good solution for keeping the changing room in order. Every employee can be assigned their own closet, in which the clothes can be hung on clothes hangers. Small rectangular lockers are actually only intended for bags and personal belongings and do not meet the requirements of a proper storage place for private clothing or clean workwear.
- It is recommended to use separate hooks or clothes hangers for professional clothing.
A Practical clothing is located on a separate wall. B Clothes hangers for clean trousers and clean jackets
When leaving the practice in between, the pants are first hung over the underside of the coat hanger. The jacket can then be hung inside out (!) Over it. This 'package' is therefore clean on the outside and can be hung on the side for work clothing or, if that is not the case, if necessary next to the private clothing in a high model clothing locker.
Routing for scrubbing
A full-timer who is responsible for the washing of the professional clothing should, in practical terms, have at least six sets. Namely a clean set for every workday plus a reserve set for unforeseen visible pollution. With so many sets it is necessary to run a 60 ° C once a week. This is probably practically feasible. However, if fewer sets are made available, the private washing machine will have to run at 60 ° C more than once a week, probably with less load or even very little load. Given the tendency to wash at lower temperatures to save costs and the environment, it could just be that the employee does not always carry out a correct washing. This possible uncertainty about washing consistently at 60 ° C is even more urgent for employees who work part-time and therefore have a smaller number of clothing sets at their disposal.
It is therefore a good choice to have the practice of washing done centrally with a fixed regularity. There is never a situation of too little filling of the machine and invariably the necessary 60 ° C can be washed. This makes this part of practical hygiene manageable and controllable! Some large practices have installed their own washing machine and dryer. A team member or external person can also systematically take care of the laundry at home, preferably more than once a week, or the laundry can be contracted out (expensive) if necessary.
Central collection of dirty clothing in a large laundry basket in practice is also more hygienic in this case than that every team member goes home with dirty laundry.
Central washing of all clothing offers the best guarantee for hygienic processing of the contaminated clothing and sufficient stock of clean clothing in the dental practice is assured. For large oral care practices, the total number of trousers and jackets to be purchased is limited, as more than one person will always wear the same size.
- If employees still have to take care of the washing of their work clothes themselves, these clothes will have to be turned inside out after a working day before they are taken home in a bag. This prevents contamination of the inside of the bag, which may also be used for other purposes or in which clean clothes will be transported on a subsequent occasion. Alternatively, a (plastic) bag for dirt is good and a separate (plastic) bag for clean good.
A final comment on this subject concerns the general rule that it is unprofessional to appear out of practice in professional clothing.