Essential Functions: Dental Hygienist

Dental Hygienist program students must be able to demonstrate critical, logical and analytical thinking while also possessing motor, auditory and visual skills that enable them to meet program objectives and perform job duties required by the profession.

Disability Act Statement: Madison College complies with all provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act and makes reasonable accommodations upon request for qualified individuals. If you believe you may need accommodations to assist you in performing the functions listed below, please contact the Disability Resources Services (DRS) office at (608)246-6716 or (800)322-6282 ext. 6716 (deaf students via Relay 711) or email(link sends e-mail).

Critical Thinking: critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment and professional behavior

  • solve problems
  • consider consequences of solutions
  • maintain confidentiality
  • develop and follow a dental hygiene treatment plan
  • establish priorities, organize a workload and manage time in order to complete tasks within allotted time
  • evaluate outcomes
  • make and defend sound judgments
  • note relationships and patterns
  • evaluate and assess outcomes of treatment

Interpersonal Skills: interpersonal abilities sufficient to interact with others from a variety of social, emotional cultural and intellectual backgrounds

  • establish good rapport with patients, teachers, classmates and other health care professionals
  • critically evaluate performance, accept constructive criticism in a professional manner and be responsible for improving performance
  • be compassionate, ethical and sensitive to the needs of others
  • be honest and forthright

Communication: abilities sufficient for interaction with others

  • read and comprehend technical and professional materials (textbooks, journal articles, handbooks and procedure manuals)
  • follow written and oral instructions in order to correctly perform dental hygiene clinical and laboratory procedures
  • communicate concisely, effectively and courteously
  • explain treatment procedures, initiate dental health teaching
  • maintain clear, concise and accurate clinical records and reports

Mobility: gross and fine motor abilities sufficient to work safely and effectively

  • safely perform procedures requiring manual dexterity
  • control clinical equipment and adjust instruments to safely perform clinical procedures
  • use dental hygiene instruments for extended periods of time in a variety of motions
  • use dental hygiene instruments with light tactile sense and strong grasp as required

Visual Ability: sufficient to observe, perform clinical procedures, monitor and assess patient needs

  • read and comprehend text, numbers and graphs displayed in print or on a monitor
  • observe patient responses
  • read gauges accurately
  • observe laboratory and clinical demonstrations
  • differentiate between surfaces, sizes and shapes of dental instruments
  • discern variations in color, size and shape of oral tissues
  • perform prolonged, multiple tasks in a small, artificially lit area

Touching: fine motor abilities sufficient to provide safe and effective dental hygiene care

  • perform palpation and oral examination with gloves on
  • use tactile sensation to determine location of deposits
  • tactile sensitivity for interpretation of extraoral and intraoral findings

Emotional Endurance: ability to work in a high-stress environment, respond to emergencies and maintain emotional control

  • calmly react to urgent situations
  • recognize own stress level and seek assistance appropriately
  • perform multiple tasks and establish priorities in a limited time frame
  • set realistic expectations to meet program requirements
  • ability to maintain emotional control with others

Environmental Safety: ability to protect self and others from environmental risks and hazards

  • follow established universal precautions
  • follow established safety procedures
  • utilize appropriate clinical safety equipment
  • use disinfectants and cleaning agents
  • work safely with potentially hazardous bodily fluids and contaminated sharp instruments
  • use sterilization procedures effectively
  • tolerate frequent hand washing