Patients in dental chairs at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine will see something new: a nurse.
Students from Case Western Reserve University's dental and nursing schools will soon take an innovative and interprofessional team approach to treating patients in a new three-year test project.
The Collaborative Home for Oral Heath, Medical Review and Health Promotion, or CHOMP, will involve students from the university's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and the School of Dental Medicine to create, in essence, a one-stop shop for patient care.
CHOMP, funded with a $265,000 grant from the Health Resources and Service Administration to the school of nursing, will debut in late January at the Case Western Reserve dental clinic, 2124 Cornell Rd. in University Circle. The grant targeted efforts where health sciences are finding new ways that bring together the health science professions, like nursing and dental medicine, in working and learning situations.
While patients pay for regular dental exams and testing, the grant defrays fees for health screenings and immunizations.
"We have been thinking for a long time about how dentists and dental offices can be of even greater value to society by playing a broader role in primary health care," said Jerold Goldberg, dean of the dental school.
The first year, 32 dental and nurse practitioner (NP) students working in pairs will provide care one day a week. By year three, CHOMP will expand to twice a week and 64 students as the program expands from adults to include care for children.
Patients will receive oral exams and health screenings for cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, red and white blood cell counts, and, if desired, HIV.
The NP students may treat and prescribe medications for patients with such acute health issues as flu, strep throat and other non-chronic illnesses, and administer immunizations for flu, tetanus and pneumonia.