In some situations, bringing a pet to work might be acceptable. In other situations, it’s totally inappropriate. A UK dentist learned that the hard way.

Ian Hulme-Ribsy, a dentist, was found guilty of unprofessional and inappropriate conduct for several bad behaviours. One was that he brought his dog to his dental clinic and failed to clean his hands after handling it. That’s a pretty blatant breach of basic infection control practices, in the sense of both having an animal in a patient care area (outside of a structured visitation program) and failure to use basic standards of hygiene to reduce the risk of disease transmission. (It’s particularly troubling when you consider that as a dentist the man would be putting his unwashed fingers directly in patients’ mouths.)  It’s pretty remarkable considering how much attention is generally paid to infection control in the dental world.

Also included in his list of bad behaviours was giving patients sedatives in liquid form without measuring. He’d just pour some into a plastic cup. Reckless disregard for dosing of sedatives is probably a bigger concern than the dog issue, but both show poor judgment.

Mr. Hulme-Ribsy didn’t lose his license, but must practice with restrictions. "… Hulme-Rigby must work under supervision and take courses in record keeping, infection control and dental practice ethics. He must undergo annual infection control and record keeping audits, and is banned from administering benzodiazepine drugs, or any other sedatives. Hulme-Rigby’s case will then be reviewed to decide if he is fit to practise without restrictions."