Explain the role of a dental assistant and explain how the dental assistant would handle this type of emergency situation. Double-spaced check for errors please! Also paper should be properly formatted with body and thesis statement please include why this topic is interesting.
Citation Style: APA
Epileptic seizures can happen any time when a person suffers high fever, hypoglycemia or epilepsy. Research shows that seizures may occur when patients are undergoing dental treatment. The topic of epileptic seizures with respect to dental health is important because some patients develop convulsive seizures when undergoing dental treatment (Wilkins, 2009). It is important for the dental assistant to know what to do in case such incidents occur. This paper examines the duties of a dental assistant and the process of handling patients with epileptic seizures.
Dental assistants are important in the health sector because they assist dentists in performing many tasks (ADA, 2017). Their work requires excellent communication, technical and interpersonal skills. They take care of patients, carry out laboratory tests, take x-rays, keep records of patients, schedule appointments and perform other duties as may be required by dentists. In case of medical emergencies, they also help with first aid. They make the patients comfortable, prepare them for treatment and help in availing instruments, tools and medical equipment during the process of treating patients (Monster, 2017). Generally, dental assistants work side by side with dentists and help in increasing the efficiency of dentists in delivering quality oral health care.
When dentists work on patients’ teeth, the assistants help in keeping the patients’ mouths dry and clear by sucking away excess saliva. They disinfect and sterilize surgical instrument used in dental surgery and prepare instruments for postoperative dental procedures. Some dental assistants take part in preparing samples for impressions and teeth restorations. They act as nurses for dental patients (Monster, 2017). Assistant dentists control the infection of uninfected teeth by developing and administering infection inhibitors. They assist the dentists in administering various drugs and in undertaking various treatment procedures. They take the patient’s medical history pertaining to blood pressure and pulses and keep all them for future reference. They process x-rays of the teeth before dental processes, process the films for use. At times, they may also be involved in sending bills, receiving payments, ordering dental supplies and replenishing stock of medical drugs (Monster, 2017). They also teach patients on how to avoid common dental problems.
Occasional incidents happen at dental clinics. The most common dental incidents are epileptic seizures. An epileptic seizure or an epileptic fit is a condition of the body in which a patient displays uncontrolled jerking movements and short-lived loss of awareness due to abnormal neural activity. In order to prepare for any eventuality, the dental assistant should prepare antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) and place them within reach. As part of the consultation process, the practitioners are supposed to investigate and record the susceptibility of the patient to epileptic seizures.
In case an epileptic seizure occurs during treatment, the dental assistant should stop the treatment procedure, stay calm and look around (WebMD, 2017). Supportive treatment is better than curative treatment in case of seizures since it may be beyond the scope of the assistant dentist. Looking around helps the dental assistant to identify and move away any hard and sharp objects which might harm the patient in case the jerks persist. According to WebMD (2017), the dental assistant should also asses the condition of the patient and record the time the seizure started. It is advisable for the dental assistant to stay with the patient, cushion their head with something soft and monitor the movements. However, the dental assistant should not try to hold the patient down or put anything in the patient’s mouth as this may aggravate the situation. The convulsive epileptic seizure should stop within five minutes. In case it stops, the assistant should place the patient in a recovery position until their breathing and thinking returns to normal. If the convulsions do not stop, the nurse should call for an ambulance immediately. In so doing, the assistant dentist could have handles an emergency epileptic seizure.
ADA. (2017). Dental Assistant. Ada.org. Retrieved 3 October 2017, from http://www.ada.org/en/education-careers/careers-in-dentistry/dental-team-careers/dental-assistant
Monster. (2017). Dental Assistant Job Description | Monster.com. Monster Hiring Resource Center. Retrieved 3 October 2017, from https://hiring.monster.com/hr/hr-best-practices/recruiting-hiring-advice/job-descriptions/dental-assistant-job-description.aspx
WebMD. (2017). How to Help Someone Having a Seizure. WebMD. Retrieved 3 October 2017, from https://www.webmd.com/epilepsy/epilepsy-seizure-what-to-do-in-an-emergency
Wilkins, E. M. (2009). Clinical practice of the dental hygienist. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.