The single most important thing you can do to be prepared for a patient's medical emergency in your operatory (and protect your practice from a career-ending mistake) is ... ...conducting mock medical emergency drills. If you want to be "emergency ready" to protect your patients and your career, there's absolutely no question that you must practice mock medical emergency drills by using a PROVEN step-by-step mock drills guide. In fact, one study of dentists' readiness to handle patient emergencies revealed that 90% of dentists COULD NOT find 7 of 9 emergency equipment items needed to respond to a simulated patient emergency. But, 100% of dentists who had conducted mock emergency drills could find what they needed when tested. (Note 1)
These research results are shocking, but after personally conducting scores of emergency preparedness site assessments for dental practices across the United States. I totally believe it.
I've seen some pretty crazy things during office assessments.
While conducting audits for a national DSO, I watched a dentist and his staff search through 5 drawers and take almost 5 minutes to find their Epinephrine (1 mg pre-filled syringe).
And this was AFTER we told them we would specifically audit their possession of, and ability to find, this emergency medication weeks before we ever arrived.
What was even stranger, their DSO required them to have that medication and to keep it in a specific drawer in a standard emergency cart labeled and arranged in a specified manner.
During the assessment. it was painfully clear they HAD NEVER CONDUCTED A MOCK MEDICAL EMERGENCY DRILL.
In another practice, the dentist was tall - well over 6 feet - and all of his staff were less than 5' 4." He had elected to put the emergency drug kit on the top of a cabinet in an office used for storage.
When we conducted a simple mock emergency drill as part of the office assessment, guess what happened?
Only ONE of the staff knew where the drug kit was stored, but she couldn't reach it, nor could ANY of the other staff members whom she grabbed for help.
Thankfully, this was just a MOCK drill. It was a disaster waiting to happen.
They had never thought about this because, before our arrival for the assessment, they HAD NEVER CONDUCTED A MOCK MEDICAL EMERGENCY DRILL either.
Here's another shocking fact: Only 23% of American dentists report having participated in a medical emergency training session after graduation. (Note 2)
This is not good. If your patient experiences...
Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
...you have about 3 minutes to treat the patient effectively before a catastrophic outcome becomes VERY LIKELY.
We call those the "3-minutes-to-live" emergencies.
180 seconds that will define your career.
If you want to know for sure you and your staff can locate ALL of your emergency equipment and medications, conduct a MOCK MEDICAL EMERGENCY DRILL.
In the first study described above, of the dentists who conducted mock medical emergency drills, 100% could locate seven of the nine emergency items.
Mock Emergency Drills are "the way!" Other studies show that MOCK MEDICAL EMERGENCY DRILLS are the gold standard for competence among dental professionals in managing medical emergencies. (Notes 3, 4, and 5) Despite this research, 4 out of 5 dentists have NEVER conducted a mock drill. Why? Most have no idea how to conduct a super efficient and effective mock drill with their dental team. Or, they don't have a realistic view of the world and are constantly telling themselves, "It will never happen to me." So they never do them... and they're putting their careers at risk. An effective Mock Medical Emergency Drills Guide will fix that by showing you - step-by-step - how to:
Make your mock drills realistic
Create an office emergency response plan (a template is included)
Conduct emergency equipment readiness inspection (using an included checklist
Conduct emergency medications readiness inspections (using our included checklist)
Create training records for your mock drills
Use a medical emergency treatment algorithm (chair-side Quick Reference Checklist)
An effective guide for conducting mock emergency drills will give you everything you need to prepare a dental team for a patient emergency, including, how to... 1. Practice realistic drills that give you muscle memory in a moment of crisis. 2. React quickly and expertly to a variety of emergencies. 3. KEEP a high level of readiness. Effective guides for mock drills will give you a proven blueprint and framework for a great training session that can be done during a lunch break... everything a dentist needs to rock their training and protect their patients and their career.
If you don't have one, get yours here.