The worth and practicality of Competencies for Dental Hygiene Graduates depends on its acceptance and application by the faculty responsible for the educational program of the Department of Dental Hygiene, at Georgia Highlands College. These Competencies define a level of practice for the new graduate, rather than predict the higher level of practice that will be attained by dental hygiene practitioners over their career. The true measure of the value of competencies and the validity of our program will be the quality of our graduates and the health care they render to the public.(Adapted From University of Maryland)
DENTAL HYGIENE COMPETENCY STATEMENTS
PROFESSIONAL AND GROWTH DEVELOPMENT (PGD)
1. Understand, practice and promote the ADHA Code of Ethics.
1.1 Apply a professional code of ethics and values in all endeavors.
1.2 Adhere to the Georgia Dental Hygiene Practice Act as well as other applicable state and federal laws governing the practice of dental hygiene.
1.3 Employ quality assurance health care mechanisms in order to ensure a high standard of care for all patients.
2. Promote the dental hygiene profession through career growth and development and commitment to life long learning.
2.1 Acquire and synthesize information critically, scientifically and effectively and apply it to the practice of dental hygiene.
2.2 Illustrate commitment to the dental hygiene profession by active membership, leadership and/or service in dental professional organizations.
2.3 Acquire an understanding of the need for continuing education courses and/or higher education that demonstrates a commitment to lifelong learning and career growth.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT (CM)
3. Interact with others to promote activities that protect, restore and improve oral health for all populations.
3.1 Assess needs, plan, implement and evaluate outcomes of community based oral health programs.
3.2 Provide screening, referral and educational services that facilitate public access to the health care system.
3.3 Provide community oral health services in a variety of settings for diverse populations.
3.4 Develop and communicate information that can influence community groups, businesses and government agencies to support healthcare issues and to eliminate barriers to oral healthcare and services for community groups.
PATIENT CARE (PC)
4. Assess, plan, implements and evaluates treatment in the promotion of oral and systemic health using evidence based approach.
4.1 Systematically collect, analyze and record data on the general, oral and psychosocial health status of a variety of patients using methods consistent with medico-legal principles.
4.2 Employ critical decision making skills to formulate an individualized dental hygiene treatment plan based on all available data. Collaborate with the patient and refer as needed to other dental professionals to meet the patient’s oral health needs.
4.3 Provide specialized treatment that includes preventive, educational and therapeutic services designed to achieve and maintain oral health.
4.4 Evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented therapeutic, educational and preventive services and modify as needed.
HEALTH PROMOTION AND DISEASE PREVENTION (HP)
5. Initiate and assume responsibility for health promotion and disease prevention activities.
5.1 Promote the values of oral and general health and wellness to the public and organizations within and outside the profession.
5.2 Identify individual and population risk factors and develop strategies that promote health related quality of life.
5.3 Evaluate factors that can be used to promote adherence to disease prevention and health maintenance strategies.