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National Forum on Changing Entry-to-Practice Requirements in Allied Health Professions Professional Associations’ Perspectives.

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Presentation on theme: "National Forum on Changing Entry-to-Practice Requirements in Allied Health Professions Professional Associations’ Perspectives."— Presentation transcript:

1 National Forum on Changing Entry-to-Practice Requirements in Allied Health Professions Professional Associations’ Perspectives

2 About the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA) Formed in 1964, CDHA is the only national not-for profit organization that represents more than 14,000 dental hygienists across Canada. Serves dental hygienists by supporting their efforts to provide high quality, accessible oral health care to all Canadians.

3 About the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (Cont’d) Seeks dialogue with government and consumers to enable CDHA to serve more effectively both its members and the Canadian public. Develops national position statements, policies and standards related to dental hygiene education, practice, research and regulation.

4 Dental Hygiene Defined Dental hygiene is evolving in Canada from a health occupation to a health profession having developed a body of knowledge, a code of ethics and a distinct and significant role in contributing to the oral health of Canadian society. Dental hygiene theory and practice draw on biomedical, oral health, social and behavioral sciences in addition to the body of dental hygiene knowledge. Dental hygiene practice involves collaboration with clients, other health professions and society to achieve and maintain optimum oral health, an integral part of overall health.

5 Dental Hygiene Defined (Cont’d) Dental hygiene is a leader in health promotion and disease prevention. Dental hygienists are regulated primary health care professionals.

6 Practice Environments Primary Setting: Clinical private practice with dentist/employers (90%) Alternative Settings: Institutions (e.g. acute and long-term health care centers, correctional facilities) Public/community health and regional health authorities Homecare and outreach programs Universities and community colleges Industry (e.g. insurance and dental supply companies) Consulting firms Regulatory bodies and professional associations Forensic laboratories

7 Turning Point for CDHA and the Future of DH in Canada Health and Welfare Canada published The Practice of Dental Hygiene in Canada Report: Description, Guidelines and Recommendations, Report of the Working Group on the Practice of DH, Part 1, 1988 Report traced DH’s evolution in Canada from the early 1950’s to the late 1980’s

8 Turning Point for CDHA and the Future of DH in Canada (Cont’d) More importantly, contained future-focused recommendations regarding baccalaureate education and regulation Led to CDHA support for self-regulation and degree for entry-to-practice

9 Dental Hygiene’s Plans for Changing Entry-to-Practice Requirements CDHA recognizes that future DH practice must respond to an expanding body of dental hygiene theory, changing demographics and oral disease patterns, and the increasing need for quality oral health services. Recognizing future needs, CDHA is advocating that DH education in Canada develop a more academic system of baccalaureate and graduate DH programs.

10 CDHA’s Policy Framework for Dental Hygiene Education in Canada 2005 Dental hygiene programs MUST offer a baccalaureate degree in DH as the required credential for entry to DH practice to all new students commencing studies in Dental hygiene programs MUST be located in recognized post-secondary institutions that have mechanisms in place to develop articulation agreements or collaborative partnerships between DH programs and recognized degree-granting institutions.

11 Rationale for the Change A Baccalaureate degree for entry to DH practice will accomplish the following:

12 For Clients and the Health Care System Prepare DH’s to participate in an increasingly complex and inter-professional delivery system Provide dental hygiene practitioners who are responsible, accountable and possess the ability to make independent judgments Enhance DHs’ ability to conduct evidence-based practices that result in higher quality services for clients

13 For Clients and the Health Care System (Cont’d) Provide DH’s who can utilize the most appropriate technologies to achieve health outcomes Respond to society’s demand for well- educated health care professionals

14 For DH Education Provide the first building block of a recognized, long-established academic system Enable student participation in inter-professional education opportunities Provide DH graduates with a credential that accurately reflects their educational preparation Meet predicted future needs for DH educators and researchers Expand development of innovative cost-effective articulation agreements and inter-institutional partnerships and academic collegiality

15 For the DH Profession and Future Dental Hygienists Enable future graduates to better meet the changing health care needs of society Prepare graduates who can evaluate research independently and recognize its significance to health care outcomes Prepare graduates capable of conducting research that creates evidence to expand the body of DH knowledge and improve DH practice

16 For the DH Profession and Future Dental Hygienists (Cont’d) Enable graduates to participate on inter- professional teams as valued colleagues Provide the educational foundation for access to graduate and post-graduate studies Enable future graduates to better meet personal needs for professional advancement and career satisfaction

17 For the DH Profession and Future Dental Hygienists (Cont’d) Ensure that DH will be recognized as a profession by the Government of Canada Enable international portability under NAFTA that is not currently available to most Canadian DH’s

18 Identified Challenges and Issues DH regulatory authorities Dentists DH diploma program models Current DH educators Competencies/learning outcomes Accreditation requirements Grassroots DH’s Government Canadian Faculties of Dentistry


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