When students graduate, they will have met the following competencies:

1. Apply a professional code of ethics in all endeavors. This should include assuming responsibility for professional actions and care based on current standard of care. This standard of care should incorporate scientific theories and research.

2. Adhere to state and federal laws, recommendations, and regulations in the provision of oral health care.

3. Use critical thinking skills, comprehensive problem solving and reflective judgement  to identify oral health care strategies that promote patient health and wellness as well as they should be able to determine a dental hygiene diagnosis. These strategies should consider predisposing and etiologic risk factors to prevent disease.  In addition, these strategies should recognize how systemic diseases, meds, and oral health conditions influences patient care.

4. Use of  evidence-based decision making to evaluate emerging technology and treatment modalities as well as accepted scientific theories and research to provide not only quality, cost effective care but also educational, preventative and therapeutic oral health services

5. Continuously perform self-assessment for lifelong learning and professional growth that may include pursuing career opportunities within health care, industry, education, research, and other roles as they evolve in dental hygiene. They should understand how to access professional and social networks to pursue professional goals.

6. Communicate effectively with diverse individuals and groups, serving them without discrimination by acknowledging  and appreciating diversity.

7. Promote the values of the dental hygiene profession as well as positive values of overall health and wellness to the public and organization through service­ based activities, positive community affiliations and active involvement in local organizations within and outside the profession.

8. Apply quality assurance mechanisms to ensure continuous commitment to accepted standards of care that include methods that ensure the health and safety of the patient and clinician in the delivery of care.

9. Initiate a collaborative approach with all patients to develop an individualized care plan that may include collaboration with and consultation from other health care providers to formulate a comprehensive dental hygiene care plan that is patient centered.  Use of professional judgement and current science based evidence should be considered as well as the unique needs of each patient including cultural sensitivity and referrals as needed. These referrals may include physiological, psychological or social problems. Adherence to disease prevention or maintenance strategies should also be addressed.  Finally obtain and document patients informed consent based on through presentation of case.

10. Systematically collect, analyze, and record diagnostic data on the general, oral, and psychosocial health status of a variety of patients.  Record accurate, consistent and complete documentation of oral health services provided.

11. Identify patients at risk for medical emergency, and manage patient care to prevent emergency.  Manage a medical emergency by using professional judgement that may include providing life support and CPR as well as specialized training and knowledge.

12. Provide specialized treatment that includes educational, preventative, and therapeutic services designed to achieve and maintain health that includes determining outcomes of dental hygiene interventions using appropriate techniques. Also, evaluate the effectiveness of this treatment, as well as compare actual outcomes of dental hygiene interventions with expected outcomes and adjusted as needed to provide optimal care.

13. Identify population risk factors as well as oral health needs in the community and develop strategies that promote health-related quality of life which may include determining availability of resources to meet the health care needs of this population or community In addition advocate for effective oral health care for underserved populations.

14. Provide screenings, referrals and educational services that allow patients to access the resources of the health care system.

15. Provide community oral health services in a variety of settings and evaluate the outcomes of community-based  programs, and plan for future activities.

16. Evaluate reimbursement mechanisms and their impact on the patient's access to oral health care.