Professional Dental Hygiene AHS practice requires specific qualifications, abilities, knowledge, and skills. Typically, Dental Hygiene AHS employers specify these as "minimal essential standards and functions" for employment as a Dental Hygiene AHS practitioner. Although qualifications may vary among employers, the following list is provided to enable applicants and accepted students to informally assess their own capabilities for a Dental Hygiene AHS profession prior to entering the program.
Essential Standards and Functions
- Work in a seated, static position for extended periods of time throughout the work day.
- Potential to lift or assist adult and child patients from wheelchair or walking devices (walkers, crutches) to the dental patient chair.
- Use hands, wrists and arms to physically apply up to ten pounds of pressure in the performance of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation procedures (State Licensure requirement)
- Be able to move freely and physically maneuver in small spaces.
- Be able to bend from waist, turn torso from side to side, and bend neck to gain access to patient work areas.
- Demonstrate sufficient endurance to complete mentally and physically stressful eight hour workdays.
- Communicate effectively in the English language, both orally and in writing, using appropriate grammar, spelling, vocabulary and word usage.
- Respond and react immediately to verbal instruction and requests from employer dentist or patient.
- Comprehend verbal and written directions, and make appropriate and legal notation.
- Access patient/client information electronically and document care provided.
- Possess sufficient visual acuity to perform close and distant visual activities involving objects, persons, and paperwork, as well as the ability to discriminate depth perception and discern color gradient.
- Read instruments of millimeter calibration within the oral cavity, detect dullness of bladed instruments and discern surface textures with diagnostic instruments.
- Perform mathematical calculations for preparation and administration of topical and local anesthetics, nitrous oxide and irrigation medicaments in a timely manner.
- Possess sufficient fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination to use small bladed instruments and dental/hygiene equipment.
- Possess sufficient auscultation and olfaction skills to discern healthy and unhealthy objective findings.
- Possess ability to work efficiently in blood producing dental hygiene treatments.
- Abide by Ethical, Legal and Professional Codes for the treatment of patients with regard to culture, race, or creed.
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