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ADHA has long advocated for the upgrading of the classification for dental hygienists. One step in that ongoing process is a thorough review of the OOH, which serves as a guideline for any such reclassification. The OOH is a federal resource for career guidance featuring hundreds of occupations. Dental hygiene educators and students can utilize the OOH to learn more about the dental hygiene work environment and projected job outlook as well as to explore resources for employment and wages by state and area.

Updating the OOH began when Ann Battrell, MSDH, chief executive officer was ADHA director of education. Battrell spearheaded work that would correct and clarify the role of the dental hygienist within the DOL's OOH. After many years of input, comments and setting the stage; and after numerous exchanges of drafts back and forth, and in-person meetings with the DOL official responsible for the dental hygienist profile in the OOH, ADHA is very pleased to have delivered for its members in 2016.

The window for comment is limited, as the OOH is only revised every two years. With solid input from ADHA, the 20152016 dental hygienist profile well reflects the sustained input of ADHA over many years and is a vastly improved portrayal of the education, expanding scope of practice and direct access capacity of dental hygienists than the previous 2013-2014 dental hygienist profile. Summarized below are key improvements in the 2015-2016 editions as compared to the 2013-2014 profile. Two key highlights that reflect successful advocacy efforts on the part of ADHA;

1. Under the heading "Important Qualities," a new quality was added as the first in the list of five: "Critical thinking. Dental hygienists must use critical thinking skills in order to assess and evaluate patients." Critical thinking and patient assessment and evaluation were not found in the 2013-2014 editions.

2. Under the heading "Important Qualities," the quality "Detail oriented" includes the phrase, "Depending on the state in which they work and/or the treatment provided, dental hygienists may work without the direct supervision of a dentist." In the previous edition, the phrase read: "In rare cases, dental hygienists work without the supervision of a dentist."

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Title Annotation:STATE LINE
Date:Feb 1, 2018
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