What You Need to Know about Oral Hygiene as an STNA
One of the major topics covered in your training to be a State Tested Nursing Assistant involves oral hygiene. You’ll need to know some of these important details in order to pass this section of the test.
Why Oral Hygiene Is Important for Patients
Oral hygiene is just as important as other health issues, but you’ll need to be able to describe why. Some of what you’ll learn in STNA training is that a patient’s teeth and mouth can become inflamed if her teeth and mouth aren’t cared for properly. It’s also important that patients are able to feel fresh and clean, especially if they’re not able to manage oral care themselves.
How to Perform Oral Hygiene
There are specific techniques that are involved in oral hygiene. You’ll need to be able to go through those procedures unprompted for the test. Part of oral hygiene involves cleaning the teeth and mouth, but there’s more, too. You’ll also need to be inspecting your patient’s mouth for any possible issues, such as sores or broken teeth, that could present other problems.
Details about Brushing a Patient’s Teeth
There are specific techniques involved in brushing someone else’s teeth, even if the patient is doing most of the work herself. You’ll learn the proper mechanics of this process, but you’ll also learn how to describe the process so you can prove your understanding. During training you’ll practice this process in a variety of ways.
Details about Denture Care for Patients
Besides teeth, another important oral hygiene issue involves dentures. These require special care, including brushing them properly with the right tools and soaking them when they’re not in a patient’s mouth. You also need to be aware of what ill-fitting dentures can do to a patient’s mouth, because this is possibly a health issue as well.
What to Do for Patients with Other Issues
You may occasionally have to perform oral hygiene on patients who aren’t able to take food orally or who are unconscious. These situations require that you follow specific procedures to ensure that your patients’ mouths are healthy and properly cared for on a regular basis. You’ll learn the techniques in class and then practice them during your clinical hours.
All of this information is going to be part of the official test to become an STNA. Knowing what to do in each situation is going to be a crucial part of your daily duties once you get a job as a caregiver in a facility.
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