Front line medical personnel, sidelined during pandemic
Front line medical personnel, sidelined during pandemic
Imagine being in the middle of the largest medical pandemic the world has seen in our life time equipped with the ability to help catch this malicious infectious illness and being told to sit it out. How would you feel knowing you have the medical knowledge and positioning to help fellow medical personnel but you have to sit at home because your deemed as non essential? In a world where all medical personnel have been rallied to help stop the flood of people who are getting sick and dying by the hundreds each and day, a large group of medical professionals are not even allowed to report to work let alone try and test or treat anyone. The question you ask yourself is why, why would you not want every able bodied medical professional coming out to help?
The COVID19 Pandemic has affected the USA and the entire world as we struggle to get a hold of the virus and help our people recover, while avoiding fatalities. Hospitals are facing a huge burden caring for the sick, jobs have been lost by the billions worldwide, and the only means we have of avoiding further spread of COVID19 is through self quarantine and social distancing. Medical professionals as a whole are overwhelmed, and as responsible providers, we need to band together to face the pandemic and support one another! Testing is difficult because even receiving a test is reportedly difficult according to citizens, and people going to hospitals for these tests creates an unnecessary burden on the providers in the hospitals. Another growing concern is the majority of dentistry has been halted, and nothing but the most dire emergencies are being seen. Oral disease in the beginning is silent. It more often than not begins with no symptoms, and when symptoms of pain and swelling finally begin, treatment is recommended to take place much sooner rather than later. From the very first beginning of a cavity, all the way to the beginning of some abscesses, as well as periodontists and different stages of gum disease, these are just a few examples of dental conditions that if left undetected, can cause bigger problems, sometimes resulting in hospital trips. Usually these conditions are detected during routine dental checkups when x-rays are taken and cleanings are performed. Removing preventative dental treatment only serves to continue to burden the entire population in America, in that conditions that could have been detected and avoided are currently not being identified and/or treated. Oral disease is a priority worldwide, and a pandemic in and of itself.
Oral disease, cavities, gum disease, and potential emergency condition detection through routine, recommended care frequencies have been put on hold indefinitely for all of our population as dental offices look to treat only the most dire of emergencies to prevent the COVID19 virus from spreading. This has displaced thousands of dental hygienists, assistants, and dentists alike who are finding no other option to sustain themselves besides filing for unemployment, further taxing the already fragile economic situation caused by the pandemic brought on by COVID19. As a hygienist, I dont just want to help I have a need, a desire to care for people. Our patients arent just patients, they are friends, family, they are closer to us then most other people in our lives. And as such many dentists and assistants, cant stand by as those we care for go without treatment, because we want what is best for our patients and all patients across the United States. According to the American Dental association over 47% of adults over 30 suffer with some form of untreated periodontal disease, which left untreated and unseen will create further issues moving forward.) Dental professionals see as many patients as day as a primary care physician yet we have to stay at home. I recommend we put dentists and hygienists back to work at full capacity and have our dental professionals nationwide use the COVID-19 tests on every patient who walks into our office for their regular recall visits.
This would solve three problems:
1. Hospitals and medical offices would not face the burden of having to test patients for COVID19, resulting in less traffic through hospitals and medical offices, making our doctors and nurses in those settings available to the people who need them most.
2. Hygienists being back to work would ease the burden on the economy and unemployment systems; Hygienists would not only play an essential role in the detection of COVID19, and be able to appropriately help identify potential carriers and transmitters, but also aid in tracking who the infected may have come into contact with, helping the state and nation be able to better isolate and recommend quarantine to those people who are at a high risk.
3. Hygienists would be able to deliver essential, required routine care to non-infected individuals, and through the course of normal job duties could continue to play a key role in aiding dentists in detecting potential problems through taking xrays, performing dental cleanings, and notifying dentists of anything suspicious that could lead to an emergency room visit before it gets to that point, reducing the number of people going to emergency rooms for dental problems.
4. Hygienists and dental professionals would be able to stop using the unemployment system and would resume their normal level of income and spending, stimulating the economy because incomes are restored, which would strongly benefit small businesses/small practices, mortgage companies, loan companies, insurance companies, restaurants, and so on, which would in turn help our glorious nation bounce back economically from this pandemic at a faster rate.
I urge you, Mr. President, politicians, and lawmakers, to allow this to happen. Hygienists, dentists, assistants, and other dental professionals want to help fight this pandemic as we truly care about our patients. We want to help our patients avoid COVID19 as well as oral disease and help put an end to this pandemic that has affected the entire world. We implore you to let us do our jobs and help especially during this time where every healthy able bodied medical professional is so desperately needed. Thank you.