By Amanda Dyslin
Free Press Staff Writer
NORTH MANKATO — The assistants at a Mankato oral surgery center were the first in the state to take a course uniquely offered at South Central College.
The assistants at Associates in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery all had taken a certification course in intravenous clinical sedation by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, as is the standard at the Mankato practice. But recent changes were made to the requirements by the state Board of Dentistry.
Dental assistants and dental hygienists working with oral surgeons, who would be required to perform sedation, need to be trained and certified in intravenous clinical sedation by a board-approved course to make the training uniform in the dental profession throughout the state.
Dr. Richard Marlow of Associates in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery said he and his colleagues approached South Central College last year to begin discussions on creating a course to offer the training locally.
Julie Frederick is an RN and health care consultant for the Center for Business and Industry, a division of South Central College, and she was eager to get the ball rolling.
SCC has dental assistant and dental hygienist programs, and Frederick thought the training should be incorporated into the programs as an elective.
Frederick worked alongside the Board of Dentistry, and she designed, developed and has implemented the first Minnesota State Board of Dentistry approved class at SCC. Previously students would have to travel to Chicago or Texas to receive board-approved training, she said.
The first class was offered in January. “There is wild interest in it now,” she said.
“My assistants who took it thought it was a great course,” Marlow said. “All in all, I think it’s a big positive.”
The sedation certification course teaches students to initiate, maintain, monitor and remove IV lines; and aid in the administration of medications into an existing IV line under the supervision of a dentist with sedation/general anesthesia certification.
The workshop includes clinical training in airway management, preparation of emergency medication and medical emergency management, among other things.
The 20-hour course, completed in several days, includes six students to every instructor. Twelve hours are spent in the classroom and eight hours are spent in clinicals.
“They do hands-on for everything,” Frederick said.
Two classes have been taught so far, and others are planned for March and April. Because the training is only required for assistants and hygienists working in oral surgery, the class is offered as an elective, Frederick said.
She also said SCC will be bringing the program to a Minneapolis company using mobile equipment.
Soon, she said it’s likely other institutions will be offering such programs. But it’s nice to get to say you’re the first, she said.