A registered Dental Hygienist is a health professional licensed in dental hygiene to provide preventive, educational, and therapeutic services that support total health through the promotion of optimal oral heath. At the successful completion of the Dental Hygiene Program, graduates are prepared to apply their knowledge of scientific concepts to assess patient needs, recognize problems, establish oral health goals, provide the appropriate dental health-care services, and evaluate results.
Through a rigorous and challenging program, students can graduate from the Dental Hygiene Program having earned an associate in science degree and will be well prepared to take the national Board Dental Hygiene Examination and the California Dental Hygiene Board Examination.
After prerequisites have been competed, the Dental Hygiene Program involves five semesters including one summer session. Dental Hygiene courses must be taken in sequence. SRJC's faculty will provide guidance, information, evaluation, and role modeling that fosters the development of knowledge and skilled dental health professionals.
The Dental Hygiene curriculum creates an environment in which students are stimulated to learn. Dental hygiene students develop critical thinking, ethical, decision-making and problem-solving skills. Graduates of the program will enjoy professional growth and development in the profession through active participation and affiliation within the industry.
The Dental Hygiene Program offers a stimulating, science-based, and challenging learning experience that prepares students to become licensed dental health professionals who provide educational, clinical, and therapeutic services that encourage optimal oral health standards in patients. Students learn to acquire and synthesize information in a critical, scientific, and effective manner.
They will achieve professional and personal growth through the application of classroom knowledge in clinical, laboratory and community settings and through self-directed planning, implementation, and evaluation of professional services. Once qualified through the Dental Hygiene Program, students will promote and maintain individuals' oral wellness in collaboration with dental and other health-care professionals.
Students graduating from this program are prepared to assume responsibility for their continued professional growth and scientific innovations in the delivery of dental hygiene care. After preparation at SRJC, graduates apply their knowledge to assess needs, recognize problems, establish oral health goals, and provide appropriate services, and evaluate outcomes about their patients.
The program began at SRJC in 1999, and is located in the state-of-the-art William B. Race Health Science building on the Santa Rosa Campus.
Note: The Commission on Dental Accreditation of the American Dental Association requires all 2-year colleges to award an associate degree to students upon completion of the program. SRJC dental hygiene students are required to complete the all requirements for the SRJC associate degree in dental hygiene, including prerequisites and general education.
Dental Hygiene Program Goals
The Dental Hygiene Program curriculum creates an environment in which students are stimulated to learn, to grow personally, to develop decision-making, ethical, and problem- solving skills, and to stimulate creative and independent thinking.
The program provides a stimulating, knowledgeable, and challenging learning environment conducive to graduates becoming licensed dental health professionals who provide educational, clinical, and therapeutic services in the promotion of optimal oral health.
Students will achieve professional and personal growth through application of classroom knowledge in clinical, laboratory, and community settings with the provision of self-directed planning, implementation, and evaluation of professional services.
Utilizing the Dental Hygiene process, students will promote and maintain individuals’ oral wellness in collaboration with dental and other health-care professionals.
The faculty will provide guidance, information; evaluation and role modeling that will foster the development of knowledgeable and skilled dental health professionals.
The graduates will be prepared to assume responsibility for continued professional growth, high professional standards, and to meet the emerging challenges of dental health care.
The graduates will be able to apply the knowledge and scientific concepts to assess needs, recognize problems, establish oral health goals, and provide appropriate services and evaluate outcomes. Graduates will be comprehensively prepared in the discipline.
Competency Statements - SRJC Dental Hygiene Program
Prior to entering the profession of dental hygiene, a graduate of the Santa Rosa Junior College Dental Hygiene Program will have attained the following competencies.
Ethics - The Dental Hygienist must be able to discern and manage the ethical issues of dental hygiene practice in a rapidly changing health environment.
Information Management & Critical Thinking - The Dental Hygienist must be able to acquire and synthesize information in a critical, scientific, and effective manner.
Professional Growth - The Dental Hygienist must be able to advance the profession through active participation and affiliation with professional and community service, and display lifelong professional growth and development.
Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Self-Care Instruction - The Dental Hygienist must be able to provide planned educational services using appropriate interpersonal communication skills and educational strategies to promote optimal health.
Community Involvement - The Dental Hygienist must be able to initiate and assume responsibility for health promotion and disease prevention activities for diverse populations.
Assessment - The Dental Hygienist must be able to systematically collect, analyze, and accurately record baseline data on the general, oral and psychosocial health status using methods consistent with medicolegal principles.
Care Planning - The Dental Hygienist must be able to discuss the condition of the oral cavity with the patient and/or other health professionals, to formulate a comprehensive dental hygiene care plan that is patient centered and based on current scientific evidence.
Implementation - The Dental Hygienist must be able to provide treatment that includes preventive and therapeutic procedures to promote and maintain oral health and assist the patient in achieving oral health goals.
Evaluation - The Dental Hygienist must be able to evaluate the effectiveness of patient treatment, patient education, planned clinical and community educational services and make necessary modifications.