Dentists, RDHs, RDAs must complete in-person skills practice session as part of basic life support course

As part of their continuing education requirements, California-licensed dentists, registered dental assistants and registered dental hygienists must complete a course in basic life support to maintain their license or permit.

Although dental professionals whose licenses expire between March 31 and Aug. 31 were granted additional time to complete required C.E., as a result of CDA’s advocacy to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on licensure, the Dental Board of California has not altered the requirements related to how the course is to be conducted and completed.

A portion of the course may be completed online, but licensees must still complete a live, in-person skills practice session. 

The BLS course must be provided by either a CERP or PACE provider or by the American Heart Association or American Red Cross.

The American Heart Association allows individuals to sign up for an online course through its website and then choose a local site for the in-person skills session.

In-person sessions are available through hospitals, local AHA chapters and some local dental components. CDA members who are having difficulty identifying a course with a local in-person session can contact their local components. Also, CDA is updating its online C.E. course calendar with courses offered through the end of 2020. The updated calendar will be available by the first week of August.

Failure to complete the BLS course is among the top three C.E. deficiencies, according to data compiled from the dental board’s C.E. audits of the last several years. Dental practice owners are responsible for ensuring that their dental assistant employees also maintain their basic life support certification.

Course providers are obligated to follow state and county social-distancing guidelines and other measures to help prevent coronavirus infection and should communicate any expected protocol to course registrants. 

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