Student Learning Outcomes | Dental Hygiene

Program Purpose

The BS Degree Dental Hygiene Program at Pacific University prepares students to become dental hygienists who provide compassionate, patient-centered care to diverse patient populations in a variety of health care settings.

Graduates of the BS Degree Dental Hygiene Program at Pacific University will demonstrate the following competencies:

Provide the dental hygiene process of care which includes:

  • Assessment – collect and analyze data to determine general and oral health status of patients.
  • Diagnosis – identify oral health conditions that can be treated with dental hygiene services.
  • Planning – develop a dental hygiene care plan that reflects realistic goals and treatment strategies to promote optimal oral health.
  • Implementation – provide patient-centered dental hygiene care based on current standards of practice and emerging scientific research.
  • Evaluation – measure the extent to which goals identified in the dental hygiene care plan are achieved.
  • Documentation – record complete and accurate information related to patient care.

- Follow protocols to prevent, prepare for and respond to medical emergencies that may occur in dental hygiene practice.

- Provide dental hygiene care for patients of all age groups including children, adolescents, adults and geriatric patients.

- Provide dental hygiene care for patients who exhibit all classifications of periodontal disease including patients who exhibit moderate to severe periodontal disease.

- Provide dental hygiene care for patients with special medical, physical, psychological and social needs.

- Incorporate expanded functions into dental hygiene care including local anesthesia, nitrous oxide-oxygen sedation, gingival curettage and restorative dental procedures.

- Use problem solving strategies to provide comprehensive patient care and effective management of patients.

- Provide dental hygiene care in a variety of settings without the supervision of a dentist.

- Use interpersonal skills and cultural awareness to communicate effectively with diverse population groups including dental patients who speak Spanish.

- Work effectively with patients and providers in a variety of dental and interprofessional health care settings.

- Assess, plan, implement and evaluate community-based oral health programs including health promotion and disease prevention activities.

- Apply principles of ethical reasoning, ethical decision making and professional responsibility as they pertain to the academic environment, research, patient care and practice management.

- Apply legal and regulatory concepts to the provision and support of oral health care services.

- Evaluate current scientific literature to support evidence-based dental hygiene practice.

- Use self-assessment skills to prepare for life-long learning and continuing professional development.

- Demonstrate skills needed to pursue opportunities in clinical practice, public health, education, research, business management, administration, advocacy and leadership.