Dental Hygienists: Giving Local Anesthesia in Florida

It is about time!  I graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry in 1985, and hygiene students were in my local anesthesia class way back then.  It is true!  And they received a 4 year BS degree in Dental Hygiene to boot.  Florida only offers/requires a 2 year Associates Degree, but they all are National Certified Registered Dental Hygienists. The Florida Board of Dentistry approved in mid 2010 to let Florida hygienists train to administer local anesthesia.  It was sent on to the Florida Legislature for approval. 64B5-16.006 Remediable Tasks Delegable to a Dental Hygienist A dental hygienist can perform local anesthesia under the indirect supervision of a dentist with the following training: A minimum of 45 contact hours which includes 12 hours of instruction in emergency medical procedures and the remaining hours in diadactic and clinical education at an accredited institution of higher learning sufficient to establish the dental hygienist’s ability to anesthetize the entire dentition and supporting structures. The Bill passed both the Florida House and Senate on 3/6/2012 and was sent on to the Governor for signing. The course was upgraded in the legislature to a minimum of 30 hours of didactic instruction (15 hours live/15 hours web-based) and 30 hours of clinical experience and instruction in (15 hours live/15 hours observational):
    • 1. Theory of pain control.
    • 2. Selection-of-pain-control modalities.
    • 3. Anatomy.
    • 4. Neurophysiology.
    • 5. Pharmacology of local anesthetics.
    • 6. Pharmacology of vasoconstrictors.
    • 7. Psychological aspects of pain control.
    • 8. Systematic complications.
    • 9. Techniques of maxillary anesthesia.
    • 10. Techniques of mandibular anesthesia.
    • 11. Infection control.
    • 12. Medical emergencies involving local anesthesia.
The dental hygienist must present evidence of current certification in basic or advanced cardiac life support. I will definitely be encouraging my 3 hygienists to get certified, but not for the reasons you might think.  The obvious reasons are that I would not have to take time to give hygiene patients local anesthesia for sensitive patients or for procedures such as scaling and root planing.  To be honest, not since we started to use Oraqix have I had to give very many hygiene patients local anesthetic.  The real reason is that I want to elevate my staff to the next level.  Giving them a new technique/responsibility/power I think will re-energize them into learning more about other areas of dentistry as well.  One of my hygienist has been at our office for over 20 years!  I think it would put a spark of adventure back in their careers and make them feel more engaged in their every day patient care. More info on its way! I have since gone to Amazon.com and purchased 4 of the most popular local anesthesia books for my staff to begin to look over in preparation for these classes when they are offered.

Typical Course Description (University of Florida): Current Program Cost $1850

The courses can be completed in as little as two (long) weekends.  Several dates have been provided at University of Florida (others may vary in course presentation and convenient scheduling). Weekend #1 - (Saturday/Sunday/8-5pm) 30 hours (7.5 hr didactic/7.5 hr clinical) Weekend #2 - (Saturday/Sunday/8-5pm) 30 hours (7.5 hr didactic/7.5 hr clinical) Nova Southeastern University has a slightly different schedule involving a Friday/Saturday/Sunday and a Saturday/Sunday weekend, but with fewer dates offered. Must have finished all web-based didactic (estimated 6 hours) and observational criteria (15 hours) before being certified. The observational requirements are to watch a dentist from start to finish on a procedure in which local anesthetics have been used.  When I first heard this I thought it sounded a little ridiculous and a waste of time, but once I thought about it, it made more sense.  Watching someone who is an expert in delivering local anesthetic over and over again has its obvious benefits.   Observing throughout the entire procedure will allow the hygienist to see how profound and effective the different anesthetic techniques actually are, and to see how it might be modified during different procedures to remedy any deficiencies. At our office it was relatively easy to work the observational requirements into our schedule.  We have two doctors and three hygienists. If in the event one of our hygienists had an opening/no show/last minute rescheduling, then they were assigned to observe or actually assist in a dental procedure involving local anesthetics.  These times are documented, signed off by the dentist and presented to the course coordinator at whatever Dental Hygiene Course being attended. Not every State dental hygiene school will need to offer a course to practicing RDH since they are in close proximity to either a dental school or another hygiene school offering it.   The web-base didactic study is provided by the individual course you have enrolled in.

Florida State Hygiene Programs: Local Anesthesia Status

1. Edison State College: Course Available $1500 Require Book 8099 College Parkway S.W. Ft. Myers, FL  33919 Karen Molumby, RDH, MBA — Director of Dental Programs Phone: (239) 985-8322  Fax: (239) 985-8352 Email Address: kmolumby@edison.edu Web Site: www.edison.edu Map this Location 2. State College of Florida, Manatee - Sarasota: Course Available $1495 Require Book 5840 26th Street, West Bradenton, FL  34207 Anita J. Weaver, RDH, MS — Program Director Phone: (941) 752-5350  Fax: (941) 727-6443 Email Address: weavera@scf.edu Web Site: www.scf.edu Map this Location 3.Brevard Community College: No Planned Course as of 10/2012 1519 Clearlake Rd. Cocoa, FL  32922 Janice Elkins, BSDH, MEd — Program Manager Phone: (321) 632-1111 X 7568 Fax: (321) 433-7599 Email Address: elkinsj@brevardcc.edu Web Site: www.brevardcc.edu Map this Location 4. Broward College: Course Available $954.83 3501 Southwest Davie Road Davie, FL  33314 Joyce Abraham, RDH, BA — Associate Dean Phone: (954) 201-6904  Fax: (954) 201-6397 Email Address: jabraham@broward.edu Web Site: www.broward.edu Map this Location 5. Daytona State College: No Planned Course as of 10/2012 1155 County Road 4139 DeLand, FL  32724 Pamela S. Ridilla, RDH, MS —Chairperson; Program Director Phone: (386) 785-2093  Fax: (386) 785-2090 Email Address: ridillp@DaytonaState.edu Web Site: www.daytonastate.edu Map this Location 6. Florida State College at Jacksonville: Possible course in Spring 2013 4501 Capper Road Jacksonville, FL  32218 Jeffrey R. Smith, DMD — Dental Program Manager Phone: (904) 766-6655  Fax: (904) 713-4856 Email Address: jesmith@fscj.edu Web Site: www.fscj.edu/ Map this Location 7.Gulf Coast Community College: Program in development for Spring 2013 5230 West Highway 98 Panama City, FL  32401-1058 Laura G. Justice, RDH, CDA, MSEd — Coordinator of Dental Programs Phone: (850) 747-3248  Fax: (850) 747-3246 Email Address: ljustice@gulfcoast.edu Web Site: www.gulfcoast.edu Map this Location 8. Hillsborough Community College: No Planned Course as of 10/2012 4001 Tampa Bay Blvd. Tampa, FL  33614-2754 Debra Heysek, RDH, MS — Dental Hygiene Program Director Phone: (813) 253-7426  Fax: (813) 253-7491 Email Address: dheysek@hccfl.edu Web Site: www.hccfl.edu/ Map this Location 9. Indian River State College: Course Available $995 Require Book Department of Dental Hygiene 3209 Virginia Avenue Ft. Pierce, FL  34981-5599 Marta G. Ferguson, EdD — Department Chair Dental Hygiene Phone: (772) 462-7523  Fax: (772) 462-7816 Email Address: mferguso@irsc.edu Web Site: www.irsc.edu Map this Location 10. Miami Dade College: Course Available 950 NW 20 Street Miami, FL  33127 Susan H. Kass, EdD — Program Director Phone: (305) 237-4029  Fax: (305) 237-4278 Email Address: skass@mdc.edu Web Site: www.mdc.edu Map this Location 11. Palm Beach State College: Course Available 4200 Congress Avenue, Dental Health Services #32 Lake Worth, FL  33461 Judith McCauley, RDH, MA — Chair Dental Hygiene Program Phone: (561) 868-3758  Fax: (561) 868-3753 Email Address: mccaulej@palmbeachstate.edu Web Site: www.palmbeachstate.edu/ Map this Location 12. Pasco-Hernando Community College: 10230 Ridge Rd. New Port Richey, FL  34654-5199 Deborah Nastelli, RDH, MS — Co-Coordinator Dental Programs Donna Low, RDH, MS — Co-Coordinator Dental Programs Phone: (727) 816-3423  Fax: (727) 816-3478 Email Address: nasteld@phcc.edu or lowd@phcc.edu Web Site: www.phcc.edu Map this Location 13. Pensacola State College: Program in development for Spring 2013 5555 Highway 98 West Pensacola, FL  32507 Linda Lambert, RDH — Program Director Phone: (850) 484-2242  Fax: (850) 484-2364 Email Address: llambert@pensacolastate.edu Web Site: www.pjc.edu Map this Location 14. Sanford Brown Institute-Ft. Lauderdale: No Planned Course as of 10/2012 1201 W. Cypress Creek Road Ft. Lauderdale, FL  33309-1906 Jorge Velasquez, DDS — Program Director Phone: (954) 308-7398  Fax: (954) 375-6940 Email Address: jvelasquez@sbftlaud.com Web Site: www.sanfordbrown.edu/Fort-Lauderdale Map this Location 15. Sanford Brown Institute-Jacksonville: 10255 Fortune Parkway, Suite 501 Jacksonville, FL  32256 Marsha R. Aldrich, RDH, MPH — Dental Hygiene Program Director Phone: (904) 380-2916  Fax: (000) 000-0000 Email Address: maldrich@sbjacksonville.com Web Site: www.sanfordbrown.edu/Jacksonville Map this Location 16. Sanford Brown Institute-Orlando: 5959 Lake Ellenor Drive Orlando, FL  32809 Debra Ann Dixon, RDH, MS — Program Director Phone: (407) 393-1481  Fax: (407) 393-1550 Email Address: ddixon@sbiorlando.com Web Site: www.sanfordbrown.edu/Orlando Map this Location 17. Santa Fe College: Course Available at UF 3000 N.W. 83rd Street, W81E Gainesville, FL  32606 Karen Autrey, RDH, BHS, MEd — Director of Dental Programs Phone: (352) 395-5705 X 5705 Fax: (352) 395-5785 Email Address: Web Site: www.sfcollege.edu/ Map this Location 18. South Florida Community College: 600 West College Drive Avon Park, FL  33825-9356 Rebecca Sroda, RDH, MS — Associate Dean of Allied Health/Director of Dental Education Phone: (863) 784-7020  Fax: (863) 453-9442 Email Address: srodar@southflorida.edu Web Site: www.southflorida.edu Map this Location 19. St. Petersburg College: Program in development as of 10/2012 7200 66th Street N Pinellas Park, FL  33781 Joan Tonner, RDH, BSHS, MA — Program Director Phone: (727) 341-3671  Fax: (727) 324-2091 Email Address: tonner.joan@spcollege.edu Web Site: www.spcollege.edu/hec/dental/ Map this Location 20. Tallahassee Community College: No Planned Course as of 10/2012 444 Appleyard Dr. Tallahassee, FL  32304-2895 Michele Edwards, CDA, RDH, MS — Associate Professor & Chair, Dental Health Phone: (850) 201-6095  Fax: (850) 201-8575 Email Address: edwardsm@tcc.fl.edu Web Site: www.tcc.fl.edu/ Map this Location 21. Valencia Community College: P.O. Box 3028 Orlando, FL  32802 Pamela Sandy, RDH, BS, MA — Program Director Phone: (407) 582-1544  Fax: (407) 582-1295 Email Address: psandy@valenciacc.edu Web Site: www.valenciacc.edu Map this Location Other Accredited Schools considering courses in Local Anesthesia: (list is evolving-check back later)

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