The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA) plays an important role in maintaining the professionalism of the dental hygienist profession and ensuring dental hygienists deliver excellent preventative and therapeutic oral care to their patients. The CDHA Code of Ethics, in particular, serves as an ethical map for Canadian dental hygienists. It helps professionals ensure that they work within their appropriate boundaries, keeping patientsa�� safety, integrity, and confidential information intact.
If youa��re considering becoming a dental hygienist, youa��ll soon learn that following these five ethical principles is essential. Read on to learn more.
1. Grads of Dental Hygienist School Know About Beneficence
The ethical principle of beneficence is extremely important. Beneficence is all about acting in the best interest of your client and putting their values, interests, and needs at the forefront. Dental hygienists have a duty to use their skillset and knowledge to improve the lives of others by providing the best quality dental care possible, every time they work with a patient.
2. Autonomy Is an Important Ethical Principle for Grads of Dental Hygienist School
Once you become a dental hygienist, you will be equipped with plenty of knowledge about proper oral health care. As a professional, ita��s important you share this information with your patients. However, ethically, you must always allow them to make their own autonomous decisions regarding their health care. If a patient cannot make their own informed decision because they dona��t have the capacity to do so, it is your obligation to respect the substitute decision makera��s choice regarding the patienta��s health.
3. Grads of Dental Hygienist School Know to Practice the Principle of Integrity
Integrity is another important ethical principle to practice during and after your dental hygiene diploma program. The principle of integrity involves always doing what is right, with truth, honesty, and consistency. As a healthcare provider, it will be your duty to uphold professional standards with anyone you form professional relationships with, including your colleagues and patients. In addition, the ethical principle of integrity outlines the importance of ongoing training and professional development. This ensures that your knowledge is always on the leading edge of current dental practices, and that you provide superior quality care to your clients.
4. Accountability Is an Important Ethical Principle for Grads of Dental Hygienist School
The ethical principle of accountability involves taking responsibility for your actions. As a dental professional, patients will trust you and the dental professionals you work with to act in their best interest. You are accountable for practicing dental hygiene within your appropriate scope of practice, and for referring your patient to another professional if the situation is beyond your scope.
5. Grads of Dental Hygienist School Know Confidentiality Is Important
As a dental hygienist, you will form trusting relationships with your patients, and in the process, you will likely acquire confidential information about their health and lifestyle. It is your duty to keep that information confidential and to not disclose sensitive information unless there is a situation where disclosure is necessary, such as during a medical emergency or if ita��s required by law.
By following the above ethical principles, youa��ll be able to always provide the best quality care to your patients throughout the entirety of your career.
Do you want to learn more about dental hygienist school?
Contact the Canadian Academy of Dental Health today to get started!