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Dental Hygiene

Degree Completion: Program Competencies

Competencies define the abilities expected of the graduate of the E-Learning Degree Completion program. These competencies reflect knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

1. Professional Development and Leadership. The degree completion graduate will:

1-1. Identify career options within healthcare, industry, education, and research and evaluate the feasibility of pursuing dental hygiene opportunities.

1-2. Access professional and social networks to pursue professional development.

1-3. Apply principles of ethical reasoning, ethical decision making, and professional responsibility as they pertain to the academic environment, research, patient care, and practice management.

1-4. Participate in self-assessment and implement changes necessary to improve professional effectiveness.

1-5. Understand the need for and establish a plan for professional development.

1-6. Possess the skills and knowledge for an entry-level teaching position in a dental hygiene program.

1-7. Provide documentation of professional knowledge, skills, and growth.

2. Professional Communication. The degree completion graduate will:

2-1. Utilize effective communication and interpersonal skills to form partnerships with patients and communities.

2-2. Possess the skills necessary to write at a professional level.

2-3. Interact with others in a manner that is respectful of an individual’s culture, class, race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic background.

3. Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. The degree completion graduate will:

3-1. Recognize health conditions and interventions that promote healthy lifestyles for individuals and communities.

3-2. Apply theories of health behavior and behavior change to improve the oral health of individuals and communities.

3-3. Evaluate health status and risk factors related to oral diseases and develop preventive strategies across all levels of health and ability.

3-4. Integrate an understanding of the oral/systemic relationships in health and disease when planning healthcare.

3-5. Partner with other professionals to promote oral health for individuals and communities.

4. Evidence-Based Practice. The degree completion graduate will:

4-1. Access, analyze, and interpret research findings to assure oral healthcare is evidence-based.

4-2. Evaluate the validity of information pertaining to oral health products and treatments used in dental hygiene care.

4-3. Utilize the scientific method and evidence-based decision making within all dental hygiene practice settings.

5. Community-Based Oral Health. The degree completion graduate will:

5-1. Apply evidence-based best practices when planning community preventive programs.

5-2. Identify community resources to increase access to care.

5-3. Support and influence legislative and regulatory efforts by individuals and/or organizations that enhance access to oral healthcare services.

5-4. Assess, plan, implement, and evaluate community-based oral health programs that address health disparities and inequities for vulnerable populations or those with special healthcare needs.