Dental Hygiene Program Performance Standards

PERFORMANCE STANDARDS For Admission, Progression and Graduation In the Dental Hygiene Program
At State College of Florida, Manatee - Sarasota

Successful participation and completion of the Dental Hygiene Program requires that a candidate be able to meet the demands of the program. Dental hygiene students must be able to perform academically in a safe, reliable and efficient manner in classrooms, laboratory and clinical situations. The student must demonstrate behaviors, skills and abilities to be in compliance with legal and ethical standards as set forth by the American Dental Hygienists’ Association Code of Ethics.

Throughout the program, students acquire the foundation of knowledge, attitude, skills and behaviors that are necessary to function as a dental hygienist. Those abilities that the dental hygienist must possess to practice safely are reflected in the standards that follow.

Candidates for the degree must be able to meet these minimum standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, for successful completion of degree requirements.




Critical Thinking

Demonstrates critical thinking ability sufficient for clinical judgment and problem solving.

  • Applies critical thinking processes to their work in the classroom and various clinical settings.
  • Exercises sound judgment in class, laboratory and clinic situations.
  • Follows safety procedures established for each class, laboratory and clinic.
  • Demonstrates ability to self-evaluate.
  • Demonstrates ability to identify problems and offer possible solutions.


Demonstrates the ability to relate to other people beyond giving and receiving instructions. Cooperates with others.

  • Demonstrates interest in classmates, staff, patients, and faculty.
  • Demonstrates ability to cooperate with others and works as a team member.
  • Demonstrates ability to maintain poise and flexibility in stressful or changing conditions.
  • Demonstrates ability to establish rapport and working relationship with colleagues and patients.
  • Recognizes and responds appropriately to individuals of all ages, genders, races, socio-economic, religious, sexual preferences, and cultural background.


Demonstrates the ability to communicate clearly with patients/clients, physicians, other health professionals, family members, significant others, caregivers, community or professional groups and colleagues.

Communication includes: speech, language, nonverbal, reading, writing and computer literacy.

  • Reports clearly and legibly through progress notes in patient’s charts.
  • Participates in group discussions to deliver and receive information and responds to questions from a variety of sources.
  • Explains treatment, preventive procedures, and disease process to patient and/or caregiver.
  • Communicates with patient and faculty regarding patient care and referrals.



Motor Skills

Demonstrates the ability to execute motor movements reasonably required to provide general and emergency care and treatment to patients/clients.

  • Moves around in classroom, laboratory, and clinical operatory.
  • Moves to and from sterilization, reception room, business office, x-ray rooms and clinical operatories.
  • Provides for patient safety and well being in positioning of dental chair, dental light and x-ray equipment.
  • Exhibits sufficient manual dexterity to manipulate small and large equipment.
  • Performs dental hygiene instrumentation with hand and ultra- sonic instruments.
  • Performs expanded duties.
  • Performs CPR.


Demonstrates functional use of hearing to monitor and assess health needs.

  • Demonstrates ability to obtain appropriate information from instructors and classmates in laboratory settings and examinations.
  • Demonstrate ability to ascertain a patient experiencing a medical emergency.
  • Demonstrates ability to obtain appropriate medical history and data collection directly from the patient or guardian.


Demonstrates visual acuity and perception sufficient for observation and assessment.

  • Demonstrates ability to observe lectures, and laboratory demonstrations.
  • Receives information via observation, assessment and evaluation of oral tissues in regards to normal and abnormal conditions.
  • Observes patient’s response to care and assesses and evaluates level of oral hygiene.


Demonstrates tactile abilities sufficient to gather assessment information and provide intervention.

  • Demonstrates ability to detect calculus and evaluate debridement.
  • Demonstrate ability to palpate soft tissue and detect patient’s pulse.

Self Care

Maintains general good health and self care in order not to jeopardize the health and safety of self and individuals with whom one interacts in the academic and clinical setting.

  • Maintains personal hygiene.
  • Demonstrates safety habits and work area neatness.
  • Maintains a healthy lifestyle.

Intellectual Abilities

Demonstrates ability to read, write, speak and understand English at a level consistent with successful course completion and development of a positive patient-student relationship.

  • Demonstrates ability to comprehend and follow verbal and written instruction.
  • Demonstrates ability to perform simple and repetitive tasks.
  • Can learn to reconcile conflicting information
  • Written communication: Demonstrate ability to use proper punctuation, grammar, spelling; work is neat and legible.



Commitment to Learning

Demonstrate a positive attitude towards decision-making, policies and operating methods, rules, etc.

  • Complete reading assignments and other activities outside of class.
  • Demonstrates initiative, motivation and enthusiasm.
  • Demonstrates ability to complete all work without evidence of cheating or plagiarism.
  • Attends all class, laboratory and clinicals assigned.
  • Is consistently punctual to all classes, laboratories and clinical assignments.

Affective Learning Skills

(behavioral & social attitudes)

Demonstrate appropriate affective behaviors and mental attitudes in   order not to jeopardize the mental, emotional, physical, and behavioral   safety of clients and other individuals with whom one interacts in the   academic and clinical setting.

Acknowledges and respects individual values and opinions in order to   foster harmonious working relationships with colleagues, peers and   patients/clients.

  • Demonstrates ability to sustain the   mental and emotional rigors of a demanding educational program, which   includes an academic and clinical component that occurs within set time   constraints.
  • Demonstrates willingness to accept   challenges.
  • Open to feedback.
  • Listens actively.
  • Follows guidelines and rules for the   program and College.

If a student cannot demonstrate the skills and abilities identified above, it is the responsibility of the student to request an appropriate accommodation. The College will provide reasonable accommodation as long as it does not fundamentally alter the nature of the program offered and does not impose an undue hardship such as those that cause a significant expense, difficulty or are unduly disruptive to the educational process.

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