2012 Funded Project

CIHR/CFDHRE Masters Award 2012
Recipient: Laura Perri B.Sc., B.Ed. (student in M.Ed. at Brock University)

Project Title:
Exploring the process of implementing and evaluating the national entry-to-practice competencies by dental hygiene educators across Canada

Research Project Summary:
There have been a number of recent developments in dental hygiene education pertaining to the national entry-to-practice competencies, which dental hygiene students must achieve upon graduation. The national dental hygiene education community is diverse, consisting of 2-year and 3-year diploma programs, several baccalaureate degree-completion programs and one 4-year entry-to-practice baccalaureate program. Educators with a variety of backgrounds and training are to utilize these competencies in the development of their school's curriculum for programs of varied lengths. However, most have played no role in the development of the national competencies. The research candidate will conduct a qualitative study by developing and delivering an open-ended style questionnaire to members of the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association Educators group. The research questions will explore the process for implementing and evaluating the national competencies by the educators. The questionnaire will also request specific information from participants to identify their education, training and details of their school of employment to provide context to our findings. With the current Canadian dental hygiene programs of varied length, it is hypothesized the time dedicated to teaching and evaluating the competencies will be unequal resulting in varied student outcomes. The goal of our research is to promote consistency in dental hygiene entry-to-practice competency policies so dental hygiene students may graduate with the required standards of skills and knowledge for delivering optimal oral healthcare services.