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dental assistanting nightmare
May 12, 2009

Dr. Bob, I work for a dentist and think for some reason I may have been pricked by the needle that we used during an extraction of a tooth. I say "THINK" because I don't remember feeling a prick or a stick. What made me think this was because the doctor said be careful of the needle and I started to think she meant that because she saw me stick myself. I know this sounds crazy! I the patient denies having HIV but what if he did and if I did stick myself? I didn't report anything to my job because I didn't think I got exposed to anything. The stick if it happened would of had occured after I uncapped the needle and handed it to the doctor but the needle was dirty because it was used on the patient about 10 minutes before hand. The needle was sitting capped for minutes,I uncapped it and handed it to her, and then minutes later I thought i could of stuck myself. Please give my a clue if this is a way of transmission or am I just acting real NUTS!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

". . . Am I just acting real NUTS! ??? Yep! Totally loony tunes, my dear.

You state you don't remember feeling a prick or a stick. Unless you have a real bad case of Alzheimer's I can assure you that you would indeed "remember" jabbing a needle into your flesh? If you doubt my word, take a sterile needle and give it a try. Just ram it into your finger tip or palm and see if (1) you feel it and (2) you "remember" it.

You state you didn't report the incident (or more accurately non-incident) because you didn't think you had been exposed to anything. I agree!

You also state "I know this sounds crazy!" Once again I totally agree!

Your title is "dental. Assitanting nightmare." I should point out two things:

1. "Nightmares" are not real. They are merely bad dreams. Your needlestick is also not real!

2. "Assistanting" is not a word.

Be well.

Dr. Bob



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