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Dental Hygiene Program Physical Guidelines for Students

Motor, Cognitive, and Psychological Skills Essential for Dental Hygiene Students

1. Essential motor skills required to meet the class and clinical practice  outcomes are:

STRENGTH: Perform physical activities requiring ability to push/pull objects/persons more than 50 pounds and possess hand-arm strength to control manual and power hand instruments and tools.

MANUAL DEXTERITY: Perform complex motor skills such as writing, typing; manipulative skills with fine instruments and devices, calibration of equipment. Have not impairment of the use of a foot, let, hand, fingers, or arm, and no other structural defect of limitation, which may interfere with the ability to control and safely operate medical/dental devices and instruments.

COORDINATION: Perform body coordination such as walking, filing, retrieving equipment; eye-hand coordination and arm-hand steadiness (i.e., use of hand instruments, taking blood pressures, calibration of instruments and equipment).

MOBILITY: Perform mobility skills such as walking, standing, prolonged standing or sitting in occasionally uncomfortable positions or very small spaces (i.e., 2 feet by 4 feet spaces).

VISUAL ABILITY: See objects far away, very close, and to discriminate fine detail and colors, and to see objects closely as in reading faces, dials, monitors, etc.

HEARING: Hear normal sounds with background noise and to distinguish sounds (i.e., pulse with sphygmomanometer, percussion of teeth, TMJ - temporomandibular joint - clicking/popping).

TACTILE ABILITY: Demonstrate tactile abilities sufficient to make physical assessments of soft and hard tissues (i.e., perform palpation, functions of physical assessments and oral examinations, functions related to therapeutic intervention).

2. Essential cognitive skills required to meet the class and clinical practice outcomes:

CONCENTRATION: Concentrate on details with moderate amount of interruptions (i.e., patient and co-worker requests, alarms, equipment noise).

ATTENTION SPAN: Attend to task/functions that require up to 60 minutes in length and handle a variety of tasks for periods up to 8 hours. No mental, nervous, organic or functional disease or psychiatric disorder likely to interfere with the ability to coordinate treatment planning; work with other health care professionals and patients; coordinate treatment procedures; and safely operate medical/dental devices and instruments.

CONCEPTUALIZATION: Understand and relate to specific ideas, concepts, and theories generated and simultaneously discussed and implemented. Apply theory to a clinical situation.

MEMORY: Remember task/assignments given to self and others over both short and long periods of time (i.e., information gathered in assessing patients).

CRITICAL THINKING: Ability critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment Identify cause-effect relationships in clinical situations and develop and implement treatment/care plans.

3. Essential psychological skills required to meet the class and clinical practice outcomes:

INTERPERSONAL: Demonstrate interpersonal abilities to interact with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds. Establish rapport with patients and colleagues.

COMMUNICATION: Communicate sufficiently for interaction with others in verbal and written form. Explain treatment procedures, initiate health teaching, document, and interpret health care actions and patient responses.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE: No current clinical diagnosis of alcoholism and must not use Schedule 1 drugs or other substances such as amphetamines, narcotics, or any other habit-forming drug except those substances or drugs prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner who is familiar with the individual's medical history and assigned duties and who has advised the individual that the prescribed substance or drug will not adversely affect the individual's ability to safely practice these health professions.

STRESS: Work with patients who may be very young or old, critically ill or injured, or mentally or physically deficient/impaired; work with a constantly changing group of staff and resident physicians, medical students, etc.

Environmental Conditions-Standard Precautions

Upon acceptance into the Dental Hygiene Program students will be notified regarding a mandatory online OSHA Blood-Borne Pathogen and Standard Precautions training session.

The charter of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Since OSHA was created in 1971, work-related deaths have decreased by approximately 62% and work-related injuries have decreased by 42%.

As a Dental Hygiene student you can expect exposure to blood, body tissues, and fluids. There is the potential of exposure to electrical hazards, hazardous waste materials, radiation, poisonous substances, chemicals, loud or unpleasant noises and high stress emergency situations. Students enrolled in the Dental Hygiene Program are at a slight risk for exposure to blood and body fluids and the potential does exist for transmission of blood-borne and other infectious diseases during patient care activities. The risk of HIV disease transmission from dental patients to members of the dental team are extremely low. Nevertheless, there is some small potential for this to occur. The Americans with Disabilities Act forbids discrimination against patients with HIV; therefore, students are required to treat all patients assigned, regardless of the disease state of the patient.

Applicants/students who are HIV/AIDS or HBV (Hepatitis) positive will not be barred from working, teaching, attending classes or participating in college sponsored activities, unless the applicant/student is unable to follow *Standard Precautions. All decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis. (*Standard Precautions are defined as: Consideration of all patients as being infected with pathogens and therefore applying infection control procedures to the care of all patients.)

Criminal Background Check

Admission to the Dental Hygiene Program will be denied if an individual is precluded from proving clinical privileges due to a criminal record pursuant to MCL 333.20173a.

Students may be denied admission to or continuation in the Dental Hygiene program for any of the following reasons:

  1. Physical or emotional health, which indicates impairment in ability to provide safe care to the public.
  2. Conduct not in accordance with the standards of a registered dental hygienist:
    1. has given false information or has withheld material information;
    2. has been convicted of or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to any crime which indicated the individual as unfit or incompetent to practice, or that the individual has deceived or defrauded the public;
    3. has used any drug to a degree that interferes with his or her fitness to practice dental hygiene;
    4. has engaged in conduct which endangers the public health.

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Health and Human Services at Lansing Community College

Health and Human Services
Health and Human Services Bldg, Room 108
Phone: (517) 483-1410
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