Dental Hygienist Education: Education and Training
The aim of dental hygienist courses is to develop individuals capable of unsupervised practice within dental teams, working to the prescription of dentists. The objectives of the course are:
- To provide a sufficient body of knowledge and understanding to enable dental hygienists to undertake their prescribed work with care, safety and responsibility and to recognise the full scope of their remit.
- To develop a professional attitude relating to the care of all types of patient and relating to the role of the dental hygienist in the dental team and the whole health care team.
To this end, courses of education and training should be designed to take into account the following principles:
- The development of an understanding of health in relation to disease.
- The integration of teaching of basic science with clinical science and practice.
- The association of training with other members of the dental team.
- The need for continuing professional education and development.
- The use of a broad range of educational methods.
A full-time course should extend over a minimum period of two academic years. Where the course incorporates additional duties, such as those listed (h), (i) and (j) in "Permitted Work" the course is likely to require more than two years. At least fifty percent of the course should be devoted to clinical dental practice. In drawing up a timetable provision should be made for time for private study, revision, and continuous assessment. Ideally training should be undertaken in institutions alongside the training of other members of the dental team and should involve all environments relevant to the future work of the hygienist.