Dental hygiene and continuing competence.
All professional quality assurance (QA) and continuing competence (CC) programs aim to ensure acceptable levels of health care provider competence. (1) Continuing education encourages dental hygienists to renew their skills and knowledge so as to provide the most efficient and effective care to clients. In the same way that dental hygienists formulate a care plan for client therapy, learning activities--based on a career portfolio or personal development plan that includes predetermined goals--seem most likely to lead to improved delivery of care. Have a plan and process in place to diagnose individual learning needs, design learning activities, locate resources and evaluate outcomes define self-directed learning. (2) Input from colleagues and co-workers can also be helpful in deciding on a focus for study. The key for the learner is to choose learning opportunities that match the selected area of development or need for competence. (3)
Self assessment and critical reflection are vital elements for acquiring and processing information that will most encourage excellence in a practitioner's dental hygiene practice, and provide the opportunity to grow as a professional.
Technology has now made it much easier for all practitioners, regardless of where they reside, to access suitable evidence based resources that will meet their professional needs and learning styles. Internet self study courses, research articles, webcasts, and podcasts are widely available, and meet the requirements for continuing competence. More traditional methods of continuing education such as study clubs, lectures by experts in the field, and conferences remain popular choices for participants.
Whatever the format, in the current research and technological environment, most health care practitioners must be extremely efficient in keeping up-to-date. (4) There is a useful self assessment and activity planning tool for professional development available here: http://www.cdho.org/Quality_English_QAPackage.htm [see Section E; Form #6]
CDHA's Information Coordinator can often assist with research activities or educational resources, and can be reached at email@example.com.
A sampling of web based Continuing Education Resources from CDHA www.cdha.ca Course Content/Goal Length Work and Personal Designed to help develop coping 13 hours Life Balance strategies and a personal plan of action to deal with the stress in your life. Tobacco Cessation Presents current evidence based 6-10 hours facts about tobacco use and tobacco cessation. The Professional Provides opportunities for 5 hours Role self-reflection and critical thinking that will enhance your professionalism. Independent Dental Provides the necessary 5 sections. 8 Hygiene Practice knowledge and tools for dental hours per section Certificate hygiene entrepreneurs to establish and operate their own practices. Difficult Designed to help you have the 5-8 hours. 5 Conversations hard but necessary modules-work at conversations that we all have own pace to face. Negotiation Assists in developing or 5-8 hours improving an individual's persuasive communication skills. DVD Quarterly of Produced by CME network in 4-5 hours of Dental Hygiene Partnership with the CDHA. content www.dvdquarterly.com Dental Hygiene regulatory authorities, where appropriate, assign credit hours to specific courses. A summary is locate don CDHA's Members Only web site: http://www.cdha.ca/members/content/continuing_education/ce_home.asp
Other self study educational resources (some are free): The Ontario Dental Hygienists Association:
The American Dental Hygienists Association:
Dimensions of Dental Hygiene: www.dimensionsofdentalhygiene.com
(1.) Asadoorian J, Locker D. The Impact of Quality Assurance programming: A Comparison of Two Canadian Dental Hygienist Programs. Journal of Dental Education 2006; 70(9): 965-71.
(2.) Jennings S. Personal Development Plans and self-directed Post Graduate Medical Journal 2007-83(982): 518-24.
(3.) Westphal C. Learning Never Stops-Keys to lifelong Learning. Access 2008; 22(4): 26-32.
(4.) Asadoorian J, Batty H. An evidence-Based Model of Effective Self-Assessment for Directing Professional Learning. International Journal of Dental Education 2005; 69(12): 1315-323.
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