Oct 18 – Registered Dental Hygienist Responsibilities and COVID-19 FAQs

Good Afternoon

First, thank-you to all of you who contacted the College during the past 17 months with COVID-19 related questions. I realize the answers are not always clear and our best evidence is always changing; we have no precedent decision-making when it comes to COVID-19. Attached is a FAQ sheet (Download) with answers to some of the current most frequently asked questions.

I think it is helpful at this time, in order to assist you in your professional decision-making making, to remind you that it is the responsibility of all registered dental hygienists to comply with the College’s Practice Standards and Code of Ethics. These documents are mandated by the Dental Hygienists Act, and should be applied to dental hygiene practice. Specific Practice Standards that relate to the handling of infectious diseases are the following:

Relevant College of Dental Hygienists of Manitoba Practice Standards
Dental hygienists: 
1.1.  Adhere to current jurisdictional legislation, regulations, codes of ethics, practice standards, guidelines, and policies relevant to the profession and practice setting;
1.2. Seek and advocate for practice environments that have the organizational and human support systems as well as the resource allocations necessary for safe, competent, and ethical dental hygiene practice; 
1.4. Access and utilize current research-based knowledge through analyzing and interpreting the literature and other resources; 
1.5. Question and, if necessary, take action regarding policies and procedures inconsistent with desired client outcomes, evidence-based practices, and safety standards; evidence-based decision-making is the systematic application of the best available evidence to the evaluation of options and decision-making in clinical, management, and policy settings; 
1.6. Follow dental hygiene process, demonstrating sound professional judgment and integrity; 
1.7. Recognize client rights and the inherent dignity of the client by obtaining informed client consent, respecting privacy, and maintaining confidentiality;

Relevant Sections of the CDHM Code of Ethics
Principle: Accountability
Dental hygienists accept responsibility for knowing and acting consistently with the principles, practice standards, laws and regulations under which they are accountable.

Principle: Integrity
Dental hygienists promote workplace practices and policies that facilitate professional practice in accordance with the principles, standards, laws and regulations under which they are accountable.

Additional up to date COVID-19 related Information is available at the following sites:

Information for the Public

Information for Health Care Providers, Physicians & Staff 

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Thank-you for your ongoing commitment to the oral and overall health of Manitobans.

Arlynn Brodie
Registrar, Executive Director