Do you know what your client’s Blood pressure is?
By Leah Ugulini
Is Blood Pressure a regular part of your clients care?
From my experience and casual water cooler conversation the most common response as to why Blood pressure is not done as part of the Dental Hygiene Assessment is “there is no time”. We can all appreciate the “beat the clock” regime every day in a busy practice. Our total “appointment time” with our clients seems to be shrinking but their needs are taking “longer”. You may or may not have control of you appointment time schedule which likely influences your own blood pressure. With technology things are changing in our practices. We have computer terminals in the operatory, we schedule our clients appointments, provide intra oral camera assessments, oral cancer screenings using tissue fluorescence (velscope) all in 45 minutes to an hour! Wow! And yes we clean their teeth too in the time left!
According to the Canadian Heart and Stroke Association, statistics show that every 7 minutes someone has a heart attack, 16,000 Canadians die from them. Heart Disease and Stroke is the 1 killer in Women. There new campaign” Make Death Wait” aims to reduce deaths due to heart disease and stroke by 25% by 2020. There is an online risk assessment that I recommend for yourself and as a resource for your clients. What can we do as Health care Providers? Make the time to take your clients blood pressure.
Dental Hygienists take pride in how thorough we are in assessing our client’s oral health by providing extensive Intra Oral – Extra Oral Examinations, Head and Neck Cancer Screenings, Smoking Cessation, Periodontal Assessments and Dietary Assessments. We know the links between Periodontal Disease and Heart and Stroke but the missing link here is Blood Pressure. This is yet another benefit to seeing your Dental Hygienist on a regular basis, they see us more often than their physicians. They trust our judgment and often tell us when they are stressed, not eating well, have gained weight, drinking and smoking more all risk factors.
Now that you are excited about implementing this into your practice I have a few links to refresh your memory about Blood Pressure. This is a great goal for 2012 for your professional portfolio.
I would love to hear from our members who currently take Blood pressure regularly within their practice setting and how they integrated this routine into their daily schedule.