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College of Lake County (CLC) faculty and staff take pride in being experts in their fields of study. Because of this, they continue to seek new knowledge during their professional careers. Clinic and Infection Control Coordinator Jan Salvadorini took advantage of an opportunity to be one of the first oral health professionals to earn the new Certified in Dental Infection Prevention and Control (CDIPC) certification.
Salvadorini first learned about the certification back in 2018 at an Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP) boot camp in Atlanta, an intense, three-day conference on infection control with speakers from high-level organizations like the CDC and World Health Organization.
Photo: Jan Salvadorini fogging the Dental Hygiene Clinic. Fogging helps to clean a larger space quickly.
Furthering her education is something Salvadorini has continued to do. She found this exam to be more rigorous than expected, requiring both knowledge and critical thinking related to of infection control guidelines and standards.
She earned the certification in December through a special preliminary testing event held earlier that fall. The CDIPC certification is the first clinically focused dental infection control certification in the United States. The exam will be administered officially for the first time this spring.
Salvadorini said the opportunity came at the perfect time with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic right around the corner. Since the pandemic began, infection control and disease prevention have become essential to everyday life, especially in healthcare settings including dentistry.
Several procedural protocols have changed in dentistry and dental hygiene. There are many dental procedures that generate aerosols. Aerosols contain water, saliva, bloodborne pathogens and the possibility of viruses. At the Dental Hygiene Clinic at the Lakeshore Campus in Waukegan, some of the improved changes are: hospital curtains being placed to help contain aerosols, fogging to sanitize non-critical surfaces in between classes, and students, faculty and dentist wearing fluid resistant lab gowns in conjunction with N95 respirators.
Infection control and prevention are taught as an integral part of the Dental Hygiene program.
“I now have tons of information right at my fingertips,” Salvadorini said. “If students or faculty have infection control questions that I don’t have answers for, I have the resources to find the correct answers.”
Salvadorini said this credential demonstrates an advanced level of knowledge of infection control guidelines and standards that the accrediting body will regard as a serious stance our program has taken to ensure the safety of students, instructors, staff, doctors and patients.
“It gives me a lot of satisfaction when students come back and tell me how comfortable they are with infection control knowledge,” she said. “Students feel empowered to make the safest decisions for themselves when looking for jobs.”
College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.
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