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A Tale of Two Hygienists Podcast

Sep 18, 2019

As Andrew and Michelle continue their infection control series, they really want to focus on bloodborne pathogens—basically any disease or infection that can be transmitted via blood and other bodily fluids. Since hygienists and dentists work in VERY close proximity to their patients’ saliva, it’s helpful to know the best techniques and methods for preventing the spread of these pathogens throughout the office.

Kim Laudenslager has been a dental hygienist for the last four decades(!). Based in Lone Tree, Colorado, Kim was an associate clinical professor at the University of Colorado’s School of Dental Medicine for over 30 years, and currently works with the Office Sterilization & Asepsis Procedures Research Foundation. In addition, she puts on OSHA infection prevention seminars for many professionals in the dental industry.

In this episode, Kim breaks down the differences between various disease-control organizations and what their jurisdictions are, as well as explains how nurses were critical in establishing a standard for dealing with bloodborne pathogens. 



Interview starts: 7:48

- Kim highlights the differences between bloodborne pathogen regulation at state and federal levels and who has jurisdiction over what.

- Debunking some of the misconceptions about the CDC’s “recommendations” and just how optional they are.

- How nurses in the 1980s played a crucial role in driving OSHA’s Bloodborne Pathogen Standard.

- What constitutes OSHA’s annual bloodborne pathogen training?

- Examining the two primary routes of bloodborne pathogen exposure.

- Kim breaks takes a close look at several bloodborne diseases and even quizzes Andrew and Michelle on their knowledge.

- What does it mean to be a “responder” or “non-responder”? 

- Did Freddie Mercury’s extra incisors give him greater vocal range?

- What are “practice controls” and “engineering controls,” and why are professionals are at a much lower risk of contracting bloodborne pathogens than they were 20 years ago?



“It doesn’t matter what state you live in, everybody has to comply with what we’re gonna talk about today.”

“Don’t get hung up on that word ‘recommendation’ cuz trust me, it’s mandatory.”

“When the CDC recommends it, it’s mandatory.”

“We never alter our infection control based on a patient’s health history.”

“It is our personal obligation to keep up on our own vaccines and keep ourselves healthy.”

“My goal is to keep all offices out of trouble.”


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Thank you to Paradise Dental Technologies aka PDT for providing sponsorship for this episode!

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