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The landscape of dental hygiene is changing. Roles and practice settings are expanding to include clinical services, health education, health promotion strategies, and interprofessional collaboration, to expand access to care for underserved individuals and groups. Dental hygiene education has continued its focus on preventive oral healthcare services for patients using the process of dental hygiene care. Bowen and Pieren provide an entire teaching-learning package using Darby and Walsh’s Dental Hygiene: Theory and Practice, 5th edition coupled with online resources to broaden the reader’s educational experience and escalate the vision of dental hygiene.
Accreditation standards require competency in many of the roles mentioned above for dental hygienists; therefore, competency-based education and assessment are required components. Curricula remain focused on hours spent in clinic, and students often envision themselves in one role: practicing clinically in a dental office when they graduate. In addition to developing clinical competency, healthcare education requires critical thinking capabilities, the ability to find and assess evidence related to clinical questions and health education, and an awareness of ethical and legal issues related to the entire scope of practice. The challenge is seeing dental hygienists inside and outside the dental office and integrating forward thinking throughout the curriculum.
So, how do dental hygienists, students, and educators do this? How can this teaching-learning package help to achieve these goals? Here are a few tips and strategies to try:
“Education is the foundation upon which we build our future.” - Christine Gregoire.
The world is changing, and we need to prepare students to step up to these challenges to continue moving dental hygiene forward.
Contact your Elsevier Education Solutions Consultant to discuss how Elsevier can help you meet your goals and improve outcomes.