Dental Hygiene > Dental Hygiene at El Centro > Program Goals and Competencies

Program Goals and Competencies

Competency 1

The graduate must be competent in assessing dental hygiene treatment needs for the child, adolescent, adult, geriatric and special needs patient.

Supporting Competencies

The graduate must be competent to:

1.1 - Systematically collect, analyze and record data on the general, oral and psychosocial health status of clients using methods consistent with medico-legal and ethical principles.

1.2 - Obtain, review and/or update and interpret an accurate medical/dental history and vital signs; recognize predisposing and etiological risk factors that require intervention to prevent and control disease and conditions that require special precautions or consideration prior to or during dental hygiene care.

1.3 - Perform an extraoral/intraoral examination accurately noting both normal and abnormal conditions present.

1.4 - Evaluate the periodontium and identify the conditions that compromise periodontal health and function and accurately records the results.

1.5 - Identify the need for radiographs, obtain diagnostically correct radiographs and distinguish normal form abnormal anatomical findings on the radiographs, accurately record the results.

1.6 - Analyze and interpret data to formulate a dental hygiene diagnosis related to and congruent with the diagnosis of the dentist and other health professionals.

1.7 - Plan a sequence of educational, preventive and therapeutic services in collaboration with the patient based on the dental hygiene diagnosis.

1.8 - Determine goals and establish expected outcomes related to the needs and desires of the patient and the dental hygiene diagnosis and obtain the patient's informed consent.

Competency 2

The graduate must be competent in providing comprehensive dental hygiene care for the child, adolescent, adult, geriatric and special needs patient.

Supporting Competencies

The graduate must be competent to:

2.1 - Provide comprehensive dental hygiene care by applying basic and advanced principles of dental hygiene.

2.2 - Obtain consultations and make referrals as appropriate and to the appropriate professionals.

2.3 - Educate patients to prevent and control risk factors that contribute to cavities, periodontal disease and other oral conditions.

2.4 - Utilize accepted infection control procedures.

2.5 - Apply basic and advanced principles of dental hygiene instrumentation to remove deposits without trauma to hard or soft tissue.

2.6 - Control pain and anxiety through the use of accepted pharmacological and behavioral techniques.

2.7 - Develop and maintain a periodontal maintenance program.

2.8 - Evaluate the outcomes of dental hygiene interventions using indices, instruments, examination techniques and patient self-report as specified in the patient goals.

2.9 - Compare actual outcomes to expected outcomes, reevaluating goals, diagnoses and services when expected outcomes are not achieved.

2.10 - Evaluate a patient's satisfaction with the oral health care received and the oral health status achieved.

2.11 - Document all required and appropriate information in the patient's record.

Competency 3 

The graduate must be competent to effectively communicate and interact with diverse population groups.

Supporting Competencies

The graduate must be competent to:

3.1 - Identify different populations' different needs, perspectives of needs and cultural sensitivities that may influence dental hygiene treatment.

3.2 - Communicate with a patient at that patient's level of understanding, tailoring instruction specifically to that patient's needs.

3.3 - Present educational information to diverse populations in a variety of settings, using appropriate teaching strategies.

3.4 - Educate patients and caregivers concerning the etiology and prevention of various oral diseases and conditions, including instruction in appropriate oral hygiene methods.

3.5 - Provide dietary advising and nutritional education relevant to oral health.

3.6 – With the patient, develop a collaborative individualized patient plan for health promotion, protection and disease prevention.

Competency 4 

The graduate must be competent in providing dental hygiene care for all types of classifications of periodontal disease including patients who exhibit moderate to severe periodontal disease.

Supporting Competencies

The graduate must be competent to:

4.1 - Evaluate the periodontium, recognize etiologic factors and formulate a plan of dental hygiene treatment.

4.2 - Perform a periodontal debridement and non-surgical dental hygiene therapy.

4.3 - Evaluate the results of periodontal treatment and establish and monitor an appropriate maintenance program within the scope of dental hygiene responsibilities.

Competency 5

The graduate must be competent in applying ethical, legal and regulatory concepts to the provision and/or support of oral health care services.

Supporting Competencies

The graduate must be competent to:

5.1 – Adhere to state and federal laws, recommendations and regulations regarding the practice of dental hygiene with emphasis on the Texas State Dental Practice Act.

5.2 – Assume responsibility for dental hygiene care and professional actions based on the accepted ethical behavior and Standard of Care.

5.3 - Provide humane and compassionate care to all patients, maintain honesty and confidentiality in interactions with patients and serve patients and interact with colleagues and auxiliary personnel without discrimination.

Competency 6

The graduate must be competent in providing appropriate life support measures for medical emergencies that may be encountered in dental hygiene practice.

Supporting Competencies

The graduate must be competent to:

6.1 - Determine medical conditions that require special precautions or consideration prior to or during dental hygiene treatment.

6.2 - Identify patients at risk for a medical emergency and assure that the appropriate precautions are taken to minimize those risks.

6.3 - Manage a medical emergency should it occur during an appointment.

Competency 7

The graduate must be competent in assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating community-based oral health programs, including health promotion and disease prevention activities.

Supporting Competencies

The graduate must be competent to:

7.1 - Recognize legislative and regulatory processes that can result in the development of oral health policies in the community-at-large.

7.2 - Identify current trends in the provision and financing of oral health care.

7.3 – Promote the positive values of overall health, the relationship between dental health and health, as well as dental health and community groups, and participate in community-based health care programs.

Competency 8

The graduate must be competent in the application of self-assessment skills to prepare them for life-long learning.

Supporting Competencies

The graduate must be competent to:

8.1 - Conduct ongoing self-assessment and engage in life-long learning and professional growth.

8.2 - Possess knowledge and professional motivation to take an active part in professional organizations and related social networks to pursue professional goals and career opportunities.

8.3 - Assume the role(s) of a dental hygienist professionally, clinically and as an educator, researcher and agent for change and an advocate for underserved populations.  

8.4 - Recognize the importance of lifelong learning by seeking to maintain and improve professional competency through continuing education, evaluation of published clinical and scientific literature and developing the ability to communicate effectively with other health care professionals.

Competency 9

The graduate must be competent in the evaluation of current scientific literature.

Supporting Competencies

The graduate must be competent to:

9.1 - Apply knowledge of research design and methodology to review research.

9.2 - Critically evaluate scientific literature and incorporate evidence-based practices into patient care.

Competency 10

The graduate must be competent in problem-solving strategies related to comprehensive patient care and management of patients.

Supporting Competencies

The graduate must be competent to:

10.1 - Solve problems and make decisions based on accepted scientific principles.

10.2 - Determine the complete oral health needs of patients and reflect those needs in the treatment plan.

10.3 - Apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills to promote patient health and wellness in the provision of evidence-based practice.