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Dental Hygiene

Goals & Competencies


GOAL 1: Possess the skills and knowledge needed to provide optimal dental hygiene patient care while valuing and adhering to the ethical beliefs as stated by the American Dental Hygienists' Association Code of Ethics.


1.1 Apply a professional code of ethics and values in all endeavors.
1.2 Adhere to the North Carolina Dental Hygiene Practice Act as well as other state and federal laws governing the practice of dental hygiene.
1.3 Promote optimal oral health for all patients through an evidence-based approach.
1.4 Continuously perform self-assessment for professional growth through lifelong learning.
1.5 Advance dental hygiene and the dental profession through service activities and affiliations with professional organizations.
1.6 Employ quality assurance healthcare mechanisms in order to ensure standard of care.
1.7 Provide care to all patients using an individualized approach that is humane, empathetic, and caring.

GOAL 2: Promote the values of optimal oral health as related to general health and overall wellness to all patients.

COMPETENCIES: The dental hygiene graduate will be competent in the performance and delivery of oral health promotion and disease prevention services in public health, private practice, and/or alternative settings.


2.1 Provide educational methods using appropriate communication skills and educational strategies to promote optimal health.
2.2 Promote preventive health behaviors by personally striving to maintain oral and general health.
2.3 Identify the oral health needs of patients to promote healthy lifestyles and appropriate self-care regimens.


2.4 Identify individual and population risk factors and develop strategies that promote health related quality of life.
2.5 Identify interventions that promote oral health while preventing oral disease.
2.6 Participate in the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation phases of community-based oral health programs.
2.7 Recognize the importance of public policy processes in order to influence consumer groups, businesses, and government agencies to support health care issues.
2.8 Promote and maintain a collegial relationship between dental hygiene and the overall health care system.

GOAL 3: Embrace an interdisciplinary role within the health care system and assess, plan, implement, and evaluate oral health care programs and activities for diverse population groups while facilitating access to care and services.


3.1 Assess, plan, implement and evaluate community based oral health programs.
3.2 Provide screening, referral and education services that facilitate public access to the health care system.
3.3 Provide community oral health services in a variety of settings.
3.4 Develop a knowledge base of the health care system (local, state, and national levels) and recognize their role within this interdisciplinary construct.
3.5 Develop a knowledge base to be able to influence community groups, businesses and government agencies to support health care issues.

GOAL 4: Assess, plan, implement, and evaluate treatment in the promotion of oral and systemic health using an 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 Use critical decision making skills to reach conclusions about the patient's dental hygiene needs based on all available assessment data.
4.3 Collaborate with the patient and/or other health professionals to formulate a comprehensive dental hygiene care plan that is patient-centered and based on current scientific evidence.
4.4 Provide specialized treatment that includes preventive and therapeutic services designed to achieve and maintain oral health.
4.5 Evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented clinical, preventive, and educational services and modify as needed.

GOAL 5: Value the dental hygiene profession through career growth and development and commitment to lifelong learning.


5.1 Illustrate commitment to the dental hygiene profession by active membership, leadership, and/or service in professional organizations.
5.2 Pursue continuing education courses and/or higher education that demonstrate a commitment to lifelong learning.