Dental Hygiene Technical Standards

The mission of the Dental Hygiene Department at GTCC is to graduate competent dental hygienists.

The purpose of these standards is to ensure that students are aware of the minimum skills that will allow them to function successfully in required courses.  All students will be held to the same standards and must be able to perform essential functions with or without reasonable accommodations.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to carefully read the Technical Standards for Dental Hygiene and request clarification for any item that is not understood.

If you have a disability that may affect your performance and are seeking accommodations, it is your responsibility to inform the Director of GTCC disAbility Access Services as soon as possible.  It is important to request accommodations early enough to give disAbility Access Services adequate time to consider your request and recommend reasonable accommodations.  Instructors will provide necessary accommodations based on the recommendations of disAbility Access Services.

To be successful in this program, students will need to demonstrate the following entry-level skills / abilities:

Communication:  A candidate must be able to assimilate information from written sources (texts, journals, notes, medical records, etc.).  The candidate must be able to attain, comprehend, retain, and utilize new information presented in written formats as well produce appropriate written documentation.  A candidate must be able to demonstrate clear oral and written communication in conversing with patients, instructors, the public, and other health care providers.   This also includes the ability to observe patients in order to elicit information, and perceive nonverbal communications. Reading tasks require the ability to read and interpret medical history information, patient responses, drug and medication information and other written material related to Dental Hygiene practice.

Analytical, Conceptual, Integrative Abilities:  A candidate must be capable to these abilities which include, but are not limited to, reasoning, analysis, synthesis and retention of complex information.  Problem-solving and critical thinking is a critical skill demanded of dental hygienists in order to exercise sound clinical judgment.  The candidate must also be able to comprehend three-dimension relationships and spatial relationships of structures.

Sensorimotor:  A candidate must have sufficient gross motor, fine motor, visual and auditory acuity skills in order to assess, treat, and evaluate patient care.  Visual acuity should be such that the candidate can distinguish colors of biological tissues inside the mouth, evaluate radiographic images for technical quality, evaluate vital signs using auscultation, and utilize a mirror for indirect vision. A candidate must be able to execute movements required to provide therapeutic intervention and emergency treatment. Such skills include, but are not limited to, operation of radiographic equipment, transport equipment and ancillary aids when performing clinical and laboratory functions, transfer patients from a wheel chair to a standards dental chair and back without assistance, and possess sufficient fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination in order to safely manipulate hand instruments in small confined spaces.

Emotional:  A candidate must have the emotional health to use fully his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, and the prompt completion of all responsibilities required for the care of patients.

Interpersonal:  The candidate must be able to develop mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds. Ability to tolerate physical and emotional stress and continue to function effectively is a must.  A candidate must be adaptable, flexible and able to function in the face of uncertainty or adversity.  He or she must have integrity, the motivation to serve with a high level of compassion, and a consciousness of social values.

A deficiency in the abilities listed above can severely diminish a candidate’s chances of success in school and in the profession.  It is the responsibility of the student with disabilities to request accommodations that he/she thinks are reasonable and are needed to execute the essential functions described.