Some states require separate credentialing for dentists and auxiliary staff for nitrous oxide administration. Typically, dentists are required to have a permit for this. Many states also require dental assistants and hygienists to have a separate certificate to monitor a patient who on N2O.
If N2O is used in a dental office, I highly recommend that hygienists and dental assistants obtain their N2O monitoring certification (if required). It affords the dentist the flexibility to step out of the operatory during a procedure. It also eliminates the potential for allegations that an auxiliary practice outside their scope.
For auxiliary staff, practicing outside their scope can be construed as Practicing Dentistry Without a License, a crime in many states. It can also mean administrative (disciplinary) action for the auxiliary and dentist, up to and including the loss of dental license. The consequences are not worth the risk and this is such a simple fix.
Know your state's regulations regarding N2O administration and monitoring. When is comes to credentialing, you are better to have a credential and not need it than vice versa.
N2O is no laughing matter!
Nitrous Compliance Resources:
- Dental Compliance Reminders [Social Media, X-Rays, and Beyond] Podcast
- Here’s Your Need-to-Know Information on 3 New Rules for Nitrous Oxide Delivery
- How to Inspect and Maintain Your Nitrous Oxide Equipment - Stephan Nugent
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