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Ethics Document

 

 

Riverside Community College
Class of 2009
Code of Ethics
 
Introduction
As dental hygiene students, we are preventive oral health professionals who provide educational, clinical, and therapeutic services to the public. We strive to live meaningful and productive lives that simultaneously serve our patients, our peers, and our faculty. The principles of ethics are the aspirational goals of the profession, provide guidance, and offer justification. By holding ourselves accountable to meeting the standards we have stated, we enhance the public’s trust on which our professional privileges and status are founded.
 
Autonomy – The fact or condition of being self-governing and independent.
 
To our patients: Our patients have the right to full and complete disclosure of proposed treatment. Full disclosure includes cost, services provided and time involved as a patient at RCC dental hygiene clinic.
 
To our peers: As equal students sharing knowledge, each of us holds the right to self determine moral decisions regardless of the opinion of others.
 
To our faculty: Autonomy can be waived to authority, such as agreeing to follow clinic protocol.
 
Confidentiality – Our promise to the patient to uphold privacy including all dental, medical and personal information.
 
To our patients: Confidentiality of the patient’s personal, dental and medical history will remain private unless the patient has granted permission, is required by law, or will protect an individual from emergency or harm.  
 
To our peers: We pledge to uphold the confidentiality of our patients when communicating with our fellow peers. We will not disclose our patient’s name or personal information that could identify him or her.
 
To our faculty: For educational purposes, faculty will not disclose or publish patient names, personal information or identity, even for the means of teaching.
 
Societal Trust – Societal trust is the trust that society has in a profession as a whole. People believe and place their trust in people or groups of people that have been specially educated.
 
To our patients: If the clinician bad mouths the patients’ previous clinician, stating that he or she did not do a good job, the patient in turn will not trust any dental hygienist students and/or staff anymore and will tell his or her family and friends what the current clinician said about the previous one. Now the family members and friends are skeptical and may lose trust in any clinician. Dental professionals should communicate with patients in a respectful manner, provide ethical behavior and a high standard of care, and keep personal information confidential to maintain societal trust in their profession.
 
To our peers: If the patients on the schedule have been given to other clinicians, and upon reviewing the patient chart, the SOAP notes indicate that the patient is there for a 3-week re-evaluation after scaling/root planing, the dental hygienist student brings the patient into the operatory and upon oral evaluation can see a lot of supragingival calculus and upon exploring feel burnished calculus and some small ledges, the student will confront the previous student to inform him of her of the findings. The student may not believe what the other student found, may get defensive, and may want to be the only one to see all of his or her own patients in the future. Both students may end up not trusting each other’s opinions and skills. In order to maintain trust among colleagues, each individual should be responsible for his or her actions, manage conflict constructively, and encourage others to promote professional growth and development.
 
To our faculty: If the clinician is always trying to find short-cuts to get further along in clinic, he or she may start to skip steps and sign up for the DDS exam before an instructor has checked off the x-rays. The doctor does the DDS exam, and the instructor comes in for to check that the radiographs are diagnostic and to check the restorations and will points this out to the clinician. Especially if this is not the first time that the instructor has had to tell this clinician to follow all the appropriate steps, the instructor will not trust that the clinician will perform the steps in order anymore. Each hygiene student should follow the protocol accordingly in order to maintain trust from the instructor.
 
Nonmaleficence – We accept our commitment to always serve the community in a conduct that will minimize harm to our patients, classmates, instructors, and all other individuals involved.
 
To our patients: As RCC dental hygiene students, we are concerned with the safety and well-being of our patients at all times. We must obtain a thorough medical and dental history of all patients prior to the commencement of dental hygiene services. We are to show concern and appreciation to our patients by the continuous use of standard precautions throughout dental hygiene procedures and utilize our time wisely to respect the valuable time of our patients. We are to render competent services to our patients in a safe and stress-free, professional environment.
Avoid potential harm to a patient:
  1. Contact the DDS of record to obtain first-hand the dental radiology history of the patient.
  2. Follow proper protocol of patient initial interview. Ask sufficient, open-ended questions to the patient in order to achieve adequate understanding of any and all possible systemic condition(s). Properly assess the overall health of the patient by including a historical, clinical, and radiographical assessment.
  3.  Use dental armamentarium in a competent and confident manner to avoid possible gingival trauma to a patient. Use sterile and sharpened instruments, as well as the proper instrument to tooth adaptation, at all times.
 
To our peers: We are to work as a team at all times on clinic and in the classroom. We are to follow clinic protocol and never deviate from this protocol as the protocol was placed to ensure the safety of every individual on clinic. We are to take the initiative and help out wherever needed in clinic.
 
To our faculty: We are to show respect to the RCC instructors and staff at all times to maintain mutual respect between the instructors and students, without prejudice or bias, in order to maintain a healthy and strong learning environment. Mutual respect protects everyone from potential emotional stress or harm. 
 
Beneficence – The principle of promoting good or well-being.
 
To our patients: As dental hygiene students, we must always treat our patients with respect and kindness with the main focus being to do good for our patients and prevent oral disease.
 
To our peers: As dental hygiene student, we must always treat each other with respect, encourage, and support each other.
 
To our faculty: As dental hygiene students, we must always give instructors respect of their experience and knowledge of the dental hygiene profession and implement what they teach us into our daily tasks.
 
Justice and Fairness – The quality of being just and fair to our patients by providing equal and high quality of care to every one of them. Apply justice when dental resources are limited by doing volunteer work, community-based service projects, and by becoming a RDHAP to reach patients lacking mobility and transportation.
 
To our patients: Providing fluoride treatment to every patient regardless of personal or social characteristics.
 
To our peers: To help our classmates the same way we would like to be helped during clinic, class, and outside-of-school activities. Being fair is treating our classmates as equals.
 
To our faculty: By being just, we follow school and clinic protocols and show respect to this dental hygiene institution and the staff who deserve to be treated as professionals who are teaching us to be successful in this career.
 
Veracity – Truthfulness. It is our obligation to tell the truth at all times and we should trust that others tell the truth as well. We value people who are truthful and we hope for truth and honesty between all people we interact with.
 
To our patients: We should always tell the pt. the truth about their oral health, health in general, and about treatment options. We should also expect that our patients are always telling us the truth about their oral hygiene habits, medical history, and pre-medication.
 
To our peers: We should always tell the truth when discussing pts. issues within the office, or when we are discussing other office matters and we should assume that our co-workers are telling us the truth when discussing these matters as well.
 
To our faculty: When discussing clinic or being asked questions by instructors we should always be honest and open about what we are talking about with them, we should also assume that they are always being open and honest with us as well.
 
 
Fidelity – We accept our commitment to be faithful and loyal to our obligations, duties, and observations. We will abide by all rules and regulations and meet all expectations required of us as dental hygienists.
 
To our patients: We are loyal to our patients when we have promised to treat them at a certain time, and we make the patient our first priority. While treating the patient, we abide by the clinic protocol established by RCC and perform our duties as expected such as taking blood pressure and extraoral and intraoral examinations.
 
To our peers: Our word is good. When we say we will do something for a fellow classmate, we do it.
 
To our faculty: We are not always being watched constantly, but we promise as clinicians to give the best care and abide by instructor recommendations. We have promised to not leave out any imperative treatment, and having fidelity states that we can perform thoroughly without being watched.
 
Utility – Utility implies the quality of being useful.
 
To our patients: The clinician must consider the benefits and burdens of each choice when treating a patient. For instance, radiographs are useful in assessing the dental health of the patient. If the patient refuses radiographs, we must explain the benefits of radiographs and the consequences that can arise by not taking radiographs.
 
To our peers: We pledge to be useful to each other. We can feel comfortable in turning to our peers for help and know that we will always consider the benefits and the burdens of the recommendations we make to one another.
 
To our faculty: Students will honor the faculty and utilize all the information that is given. We are not to doubt our instructors in that if they tell us to do something, we do it without question because they are our instructors and they have the experience and knowledge that the students have not attained. We are to put our trust in our faculty and recognize that all the information that is given to us is quality information and is to be ulitized in our profession.
 
Responsibility – As dental professionals, we take responsibility for our actions as we seek to enforce the ethical principles we have established. Responsibility indicates trustworthiness, reliability, and a sense of moral accountability. Responsibility, to us, means that we must admit our mistakes and take credit for our success. 
 
To our patients: Ultimately, we must be responsible to our patients by demonstrating our core values and ensuring that our patients come first.
 
To our peers: We must be responsible to each other as clinicians by being reliable, keeping a clear schedule, and helping one another succeed academically and in our clinical setting.
 
To our faculty: Showing responsibility to our instructors means that we turn in our assignments on time, be organized and prepared, and enforce our Code of Ethics.
 
Riverside Community College
Class of 2009
Code of Ethics
 
Introduction
As dental hygiene students, we are preventive oral health professionals who provide educational, clinical, and therapeutic services to the public. We strive to live meaningful and productive lives that simultaneously serve our patients, our peers, and our faculty. The principles of ethics are the aspirational goals of the profession, provide guidance, and offer justification. By holding ourselves accountable to meeting the standards we have stated, we enhance the public’s trust on which our professional privileges and status are founded.
 
Autonomy – The fact or condition of being self-governing and independent.
 
To our patients: Our patients have the right to full and complete disclosure of proposed treatment. Full disclosure includes cost, services provided and time involved as a patient at RCC dental hygiene clinic.
 
To our peers: As equal students sharing knowledge, each of us holds the right to self determine moral decisions regardless of the opinion of others.
 
To our faculty: Autonomy can be waived to authority, such as agreeing to follow clinic protocol.
 
Confidentiality – Our promise to the patient to uphold privacy including all dental, medical and personal information.
 
To our patients: Confidentiality of the patient’s personal, dental and medical history will remain private unless the patient has granted permission, is required by law, or will protect an individual from emergency or harm.  
 
To our peers: We pledge to uphold the confidentiality of our patients when communicating with our fellow peers. We will not disclose our patient’s name or personal information that could identify him or her.
 
To our faculty: For educational purposes, faculty will not disclose or publish patient names, personal information or identity, even for the means of teaching.
 
Societal Trust – Societal trust is the trust that society has in a profession as a whole. People believe and place their trust in people or groups of people that have been specially educated.
 
To our patients: If the clinician bad mouths the patients’ previous clinician, stating that he or she did not do a good job, the patient in turn will not trust any dental hygienist students and/or staff anymore and will tell his or her family and friends what the current clinician said about the previous one. Now the family members and friends are skeptical and may lose trust in any clinician. Dental professionals should communicate with patients in a respectful manner, provide ethical behavior and a high standard of care, and keep personal information confidential to maintain societal trust in their profession.
 
To our peers: If the patients on the schedule have been given to other clinicians, and upon reviewing the patient chart, the SOAP notes indicate that the patient is there for a 3-week re-evaluation after scaling/root planing, the dental hygienist student brings the patient into the operatory and upon oral evaluation can see a lot of supragingival calculus and upon exploring feel burnished calculus and some small ledges, the student will confront the previous student to inform him of her of the findings. The student may not believe what the other student found, may get defensive, and may want to be the only one to see all of his or her own patients in the future. Both students may end up not trusting each other’s opinions and skills. In order to maintain trust among colleagues, each individual should be responsible for his or her actions, manage conflict constructively, and encourage others to promote professional growth and development.
 
To our faculty: If the clinician is always trying to find short-cuts to get further along in clinic, he or she may start to skip steps and sign up for the DDS exam before an instructor has checked off the x-rays. The doctor does the DDS exam, and the instructor comes in for to check that the radiographs are diagnostic and to check the restorations and will points this out to the clinician. Especially if this is not the first time that the instructor has had to tell this clinician to follow all the appropriate steps, the instructor will not trust that the clinician will perform the steps in order anymore. Each hygiene student should follow the protocol accordingly in order to maintain trust from the instructor.
 
Nonmaleficence – We accept our commitment to always serve the community in a conduct that will minimize harm to our patients, classmates, instructors, and all other individuals involved.
 
To our patients: As RCC dental hygiene students, we are concerned with the safety and well-being of our patients at all times. We must obtain a thorough medical and dental history of all patients prior to the commencement of dental hygiene services. We are to show concern and appreciation to our patients by the continuous use of standard precautions throughout dental hygiene procedures and utilize our time wisely to respect the valuable time of our patients. We are to render competent services to our patients in a safe and stress-free, professional environment.
Avoid potential harm to a patient:
  1. Contact the DDS of record to obtain first-hand the dental radiology history of the patient.
  2. Follow proper protocol of patient initial interview. Ask sufficient, open-ended questions to the patient in order to achieve adequate understanding of any and all possible systemic condition(s). Properly assess the overall health of the patient by including a historical, clinical, and radiographical assessment.
  3.  Use dental armamentarium in a competent and confident manner to avoid possible gingival trauma to a patient. Use sterile and sharpened instruments, as well as the proper instrument to tooth adaptation, at all times.
 
To our peers: We are to work as a team at all times on clinic and in the classroom. We are to follow clinic protocol and never deviate from this protocol as the protocol was placed to ensure the safety of every individual on clinic. We are to take the initiative and help out wherever needed in clinic.
 
To our faculty: We are to show respect to the RCC instructors and staff at all times to maintain mutual respect between the instructors and students, without prejudice or bias, in order to maintain a healthy and strong learning environment. Mutual respect protects everyone from potential emotional stress or harm. 
 
Beneficence – The principle of promoting good or well-being.
 
To our patients: As dental hygiene students, we must always treat our patients with respect and kindness with the main focus being to do good for our patients and prevent oral disease.
 
To our peers: As dental hygiene student, we must always treat each other with respect, encourage, and support each other.
 
To our faculty: As dental hygiene students, we must always give instructors respect of their experience and knowledge of the dental hygiene profession and implement what they teach us into our daily tasks.
 
Justice and Fairness – The quality of being just and fair to our patients by providing equal and high quality of care to every one of them. Apply justice when dental resources are limited by doing volunteer work, community-based service projects, and by becoming a RDHAP to reach patients lacking mobility and transportation.
 
To our patients: Providing fluoride treatment to every patient regardless of personal or social characteristics.
 
To our peers: To help our classmates the same way we would like to be helped during clinic, class, and outside-of-school activities. Being fair is treating our classmates as equals.
 
To our faculty: By being just, we follow school and clinic protocols and show respect to this dental hygiene institution and the staff who deserve to be treated as professionals who are teaching us to be successful in this career.
 
Veracity – Truthfulness. It is our obligation to tell the truth at all times and we should trust that others tell the truth as well. We value people who are truthful and we hope for truth and honesty between all people we interact with.
 
To our patients: We should always tell the pt. the truth about their oral health, health in general, and about treatment options. We should also expect that our patients are always telling us the truth about their oral hygiene habits, medical history, and pre-medication.
 
To our peers: We should always tell the truth when discussing pts. issues within the office, or when we are discussing other office matters and we should assume that our co-workers are telling us the truth when discussing these matters as well.
 
To our faculty: When discussing clinic or being asked questions by instructors we should always be honest and open about what we are talking about with them, we should also assume that they are always being open and honest with us as well.
 
 
Fidelity – We accept our commitment to be faithful and loyal to our obligations, duties, and observations. We will abide by all rules and regulations and meet all expectations required of us as dental hygienists.
 
To our patients: We are loyal to our patients when we have promised to treat them at a certain time, and we make the patient our first priority. While treating the patient, we abide by the clinic protocol established by RCC and perform our duties as expected such as taking blood pressure and extraoral and intraoral examinations.
 
To our peers: Our word is good. When we say we will do something for a fellow classmate, we do it.
 
To our faculty: We are not always being watched constantly, but we promise as clinicians to give the best care and abide by instructor recommendations. We have promised to not leave out any imperative treatment, and having fidelity states that we can perform thoroughly without being watched.
 
Utility – Utility implies the quality of being useful.
 
To our patients: The clinician must consider the benefits and burdens of each choice when treating a patient. For instance, radiographs are useful in assessing the dental health of the patient. If the patient refuses radiographs, we must explain the benefits of radiographs and the consequences that can arise by not taking radiographs.
 
To our peers: We pledge to be useful to each other. We can feel comfortable in turning to our peers for help and know that we will always consider the benefits and the burdens of the recommendations we make to one another.
 
To our faculty: Students will honor the faculty and utilize all the information that is given. We are not to doubt our instructors in that if they tell us to do something, we do it without question because they are our instructors and they have the experience and knowledge that the students have not attained. We are to put our trust in our faculty and recognize that all the information that is given to us is quality information and is to be ulitized in our profession.
 
Responsibility – As dental professionals, we take responsibility for our actions as we seek to enforce the ethical principles we have established. Responsibility indicates trustworthiness, reliability, and a sense of moral accountability. Responsibility, to us, means that we must admit our mistakes and take credit for our success. 
 
To our patients: Ultimately, we must be responsible to our patients by demonstrating our core values and ensuring that our patients come first.
 
To our peers: We must be responsible to each other as clinicians by being reliable, keeping a clear schedule, and helping one another succeed academically and in our clinical setting.
 
To our faculty: Showing responsibility to our instructors means that we turn in our assignments on time, be organized and prepared, and enforce our Code of Ethics.
 
Riverside Community College
Class of 2009
Code of Ethics
 
Introduction
As dental hygiene students, we are preventive oral health professionals who provide educational, clinical, and therapeutic services to the public. We strive to live meaningful and productive lives that simultaneously serve our patients, our peers, and our faculty. The principles of ethics are the aspirational goals of the profession, provide guidance, and offer justification. By holding ourselves accountable to meeting the standards we have stated, we enhance the public’s trust on which our professional privileges and status are founded.
 
Autonomy – The fact or condition of being self-governing and independent.
 
To our patients: Our patients have the right to full and complete disclosure of proposed treatment. Full disclosure includes cost, services provided and time involved as a patient at RCC dental hygiene clinic.
 
To our peers: As equal students sharing knowledge, each of us holds the right to self determine moral decisions regardless of the opinion of others.
 
To our faculty: Autonomy can be waived to authority, such as agreeing to follow clinic protocol.
 
Confidentiality – Our promise to the patient to uphold privacy including all dental, medical and personal information.
 
To our patients: Confidentiality of the patient’s personal, dental and medical history will remain private unless the patient has granted permission, is required by law, or will protect an individual from emergency or harm.  
 
To our peers: We pledge to uphold the confidentiality of our patients when communicating with our fellow peers. We will not disclose our patient’s name or personal information that could identify him or her.
 
To our faculty: For educational purposes, faculty will not disclose or publish patient names, personal information or identity, even for the means of teaching.
 
Societal Trust – Societal trust is the trust that society has in a profession as a whole. People believe and place their trust in people or groups of people that have been specially educated.
 
To our patients: If the clinician bad mouths the patients’ previous clinician, stating that he or she did not do a good job, the patient in turn will not trust any dental hygienist students and/or staff anymore and will tell his or her family and friends what the current clinician said about the previous one. Now the family members and friends are skeptical and may lose trust in any clinician. Dental professionals should communicate with patients in a respectful manner, provide ethical behavior and a high standard of care, and keep personal information confidential to maintain societal trust in their profession.
 
To our peers: If the patients on the schedule have been given to other clinicians, and upon reviewing the patient chart, the SOAP notes indicate that the patient is there for a 3-week re-evaluation after scaling/root planing, the dental hygienist student brings the patient into the operatory and upon oral evaluation can see a lot of supragingival calculus and upon exploring feel burnished calculus and some small ledges, the student will confront the previous student to inform him of her of the findings. The student may not believe what the other student found, may get defensive, and may want to be the only one to see all of his or her own patients in the future. Both students may end up not trusting each other’s opinions and skills. In order to maintain trust among colleagues, each individual should be responsible for his or her actions, manage conflict constructively, and encourage others to promote professional growth and development.
 
To our faculty: If the clinician is always trying to find short-cuts to get further along in clinic, he or she may start to skip steps and sign up for the DDS exam before an instructor has checked off the x-rays. The doctor does the DDS exam, and the instructor comes in for to check that the radiographs are diagnostic and to check the restorations and will points this out to the clinician. Especially if this is not the first time that the instructor has had to tell this clinician to follow all the appropriate steps, the instructor will not trust that the clinician will perform the steps in order anymore. Each hygiene student should follow the protocol accordingly in order to maintain trust from the instructor.
 
Nonmaleficence – We accept our commitment to always serve the community in a conduct that will minimize harm to our patients, classmates, instructors, and all other individuals involved.
 
To our patients: As RCC dental hygiene students, we are concerned with the safety and well-being of our patients at all times. We must obtain a thorough medical and dental history of all patients prior to the commencement of dental hygiene services. We are to show concern and appreciation to our patients by the continuous use of standard precautions throughout dental hygiene procedures and utilize our time wisely to respect the valuable time of our patients. We are to render competent services to our patients in a safe and stress-free, professional environment.
Avoid potential harm to a patient:
  1. Contact the DDS of record to obtain first-hand the dental radiology history of the patient.
  2. Follow proper protocol of patient initial interview. Ask sufficient, open-ended questions to the patient in order to achieve adequate understanding of any and all possible systemic condition(s). Properly assess the overall health of the patient by including a historical, clinical, and radiographical assessment.
  3.  Use dental armamentarium in a competent and confident manner to avoid possible gingival trauma to a patient. Use sterile and sharpened instruments, as well as the proper instrument to tooth adaptation, at all times.
 
To our peers: We are to work as a team at all times on clinic and in the classroom. We are to follow clinic protocol and never deviate from this protocol as the protocol was placed to ensure the safety of every individual on clinic. We are to take the initiative and help out wherever needed in clinic.
 
To our faculty: We are to show respect to the RCC instructors and staff at all times to maintain mutual respect between the instructors and students, without prejudice or bias, in order to maintain a healthy and strong learning environment. Mutual respect protects everyone from potential emotional stress or harm. 
 
Beneficence – The principle of promoting good or well-being.
 
To our patients: As dental hygiene students, we must always treat our patients with respect and kindness with the main focus being to do good for our patients and prevent oral disease.
 
To our peers: As dental hygiene student, we must always treat each other with respect, encourage, and support each other.
 
To our faculty: As dental hygiene students, we must always give instructors respect of their experience and knowledge of the dental hygiene profession and implement what they teach us into our daily tasks.
 
Justice and Fairness – The quality of being just and fair to our patients by providing equal and high quality of care to every one of them. Apply justice when dental resources are limited by doing volunteer work, community-based service projects, and by becoming a RDHAP to reach patients lacking mobility and transportation.
 
To our patients: Providing fluoride treatment to every patient regardless of personal or social characteristics.
 
To our peers: To help our classmates the same way we would like to be helped during clinic, class, and outside-of-school activities. Being fair is treating our classmates as equals.
 
To our faculty: By being just, we follow school and clinic protocols and show respect to this dental hygiene institution and the staff who deserve to be treated as professionals who are teaching us to be successful in this career.
 
Veracity – Truthfulness. It is our obligation to tell the truth at all times and we should trust that others tell the truth as well. We value people who are truthful and we hope for truth and honesty between all people we interact with.
 
To our patients: We should always tell the pt. the truth about their oral health, health in general, and about treatment options. We should also expect that our patients are always telling us the truth about their oral hygiene habits, medical history, and pre-medication.
 
To our peers: We should always tell the truth when discussing pts. issues within the office, or when we are discussing other office matters and we should assume that our co-workers are telling us the truth when discussing these matters as well.
 
To our faculty: When discussing clinic or being asked questions by instructors we should always be honest and open about what we are talking about with them, we should also assume that they are always being open and honest with us as well.
 
 
Fidelity – We accept our commitment to be faithful and loyal to our obligations, duties, and observations. We will abide by all rules and regulations and meet all expectations required of us as dental hygienists.
 
To our patients: We are loyal to our patients when we have promised to treat them at a certain time, and we make the patient our first priority. While treating the patient, we abide by the clinic protocol established by RCC and perform our duties as expected such as taking blood pressure and extraoral and intraoral examinations.
 
To our peers: Our word is good. When we say we will do something for a fellow classmate, we do it.
 
To our faculty: We are not always being watched constantly, but we promise as clinicians to give the best care and abide by instructor recommendations. We have promised to not leave out any imperative treatment, and having fidelity states that we can perform thoroughly without being watched.
 
Utility – Utility implies the quality of being useful.
 
To our patients: The clinician must consider the benefits and burdens of each choice when treating a patient. For instance, radiographs are useful in assessing the dental health of the patient. If the patient refuses radiographs, we must explain the benefits of radiographs and the consequences that can arise by not taking radiographs.
 
To our peers: We pledge to be useful to each other. We can feel comfortable in turning to our peers for help and know that we will always consider the benefits and the burdens of the recommendations we make to one another.
 
To our faculty: Students will honor the faculty and utilize all the information that is given. We are not to doubt our instructors in that if they tell us to do something, we do it without question because they are our instructors and they have the experience and knowledge that the students have not attained. We are to put our trust in our faculty and recognize that all the information that is given to us is quality information and is to be ulitized in our profession.
 
Responsibility – As dental professionals, we take responsibility for our actions as we seek to enforce the ethical principles we have established. Responsibility indicates trustworthiness, reliability, and a sense of moral accountability. Responsibility, to us, means that we must admit our mistakes and take credit for our success. 
 
To our patients: Ultimately, we must be responsible to our patients by demonstrating our core values and ensuring that our patients come first.
 
To our peers: We must be responsible to each other as clinicians by being reliable, keeping a clear schedule, and helping one another succeed academically and in our clinical setting.
 
To our faculty: Showing responsibility to our instructors means that we turn in our assignments on time, be organized and prepared, and enforce our Code of Ethics.
 
Riverside Community College
Class of 2009
Code of Ethics
 
Introduction
As dental hygiene students, we are preventive oral health professionals who provide educational, clinical, and therapeutic services to the public. We strive to live meaningful and productive lives that simultaneously serve our patients, our peers, and our faculty. The principles of ethics are the aspirational goals of the profession, provide guidance, and offer justification. By holding ourselves accountable to meeting the standards we have stated, we enhance the public’s trust on which our professional privileges and status are founded.
 
Autonomy – The fact or condition of being self-governing and independent.
 
To our patients: Our patients have the right to full and complete disclosure of proposed treatment. Full disclosure includes cost, services provided and time involved as a patient at RCC dental hygiene clinic.
 
To our peers: As equal students sharing knowledge, each of us holds the right to self determine moral decisions regardless of the opinion of others.
 
To our faculty: Autonomy can be waived to authority, such as agreeing to follow clinic protocol.
 
Confidentiality – Our promise to the patient to uphold privacy including all dental, medical and personal information.
 
To our patients: Confidentiality of the patient’s personal, dental and medical history will remain private unless the patient has granted permission, is required by law, or will protect an individual from emergency or harm.  
 
To our peers: We pledge to uphold the confidentiality of our patients when communicating with our fellow peers. We will not disclose our patient’s name or personal information that could identify him or her.
 
To our faculty: For educational purposes, faculty will not disclose or publish patient names, personal information or identity, even for the means of teaching.
 
Societal Trust – Societal trust is the trust that society has in a profession as a whole. People believe and place their trust in people or groups of people that have been specially educated.
 
To our patients: If the clinician bad mouths the patients’ previous clinician, stating that he or she did not do a good job, the patient in turn will not trust any dental hygienist students and/or staff anymore and will tell his or her family and friends what the current clinician said about the previous one. Now the family members and friends are skeptical and may lose trust in any clinician. Dental professionals should communicate with patients in a respectful manner, provide ethical behavior and a high standard of care, and keep personal information confidential to maintain societal trust in their profession.
 
To our peers: If the patients on the schedule have been given to other clinicians, and upon reviewing the patient chart, the SOAP notes indicate that the patient is there for a 3-week re-evaluation after scaling/root planing, the dental hygienist student brings the patient into the operatory and upon oral evaluation can see a lot of supragingival calculus and upon exploring feel burnished calculus and some small ledges, the student will confront the previous student to inform him of her of the findings. The student may not believe what the other student found, may get defensive, and may want to be the only one to see all of his or her own patients in the future. Both students may end up not trusting each other’s opinions and skills. In order to maintain trust among colleagues, each individual should be responsible for his or her actions, manage conflict constructively, and encourage others to promote professional growth and development.
 
To our faculty: If the clinician is always trying to find short-cuts to get further along in clinic, he or she may start to skip steps and sign up for the DDS exam before an instructor has checked off the x-rays. The doctor does the DDS exam, and the instructor comes in for to check that the radiographs are diagnostic and to check the restorations and will points this out to the clinician. Especially if this is not the first time that the instructor has had to tell this clinician to follow all the appropriate steps, the instructor will not trust that the clinician will perform the steps in order anymore. Each hygiene student should follow the protocol accordingly in order to maintain trust from the instructor.
 
Nonmaleficence – We accept our commitment to always serve the community in a conduct that will minimize harm to our patients, classmates, instructors, and all other individuals involved.
 
To our patients: As RCC dental hygiene students, we are concerned with the safety and well-being of our patients at all times. We must obtain a thorough medical and dental history of all patients prior to the commencement of dental hygiene services. We are to show concern and appreciation to our patients by the continuous use of standard precautions throughout dental hygiene procedures and utilize our time wisely to respect the valuable time of our patients. We are to render competent services to our patients in a safe and stress-free, professional environment.
Avoid potential harm to a patient:
  1. Contact the DDS of record to obtain first-hand the dental radiology history of the patient.
  2. Follow proper protocol of patient initial interview. Ask sufficient, open-ended questions to the patient in order to achieve adequate understanding of any and all possible systemic condition(s). Properly assess the overall health of the patient by including a historical, clinical, and radiographical assessment.
  3.  Use dental armamentarium in a competent and confident manner to avoid possible gingival trauma to a patient. Use sterile and sharpened instruments, as well as the proper instrument to tooth adaptation, at all times.
 
To our peers: We are to work as a team at all times on clinic and in the classroom. We are to follow clinic protocol and never deviate from this protocol as the protocol was placed to ensure the safety of every individual on clinic. We are to take the initiative and help out wherever needed in clinic.
 
To our faculty: We are to show respect to the RCC instructors and staff at all times to maintain mutual respect between the instructors and students, without prejudice or bias, in order to maintain a healthy and strong learning environment. Mutual respect protects everyone from potential emotional stress or harm. 
 
Beneficence – The principle of promoting good or well-being.
 
To our patients: As dental hygiene students, we must always treat our patients with respect and kindness with the main focus being to do good for our patients and prevent oral disease.
 
To our peers: As dental hygiene student, we must always treat each other with respect, encourage, and support each other.
 
To our faculty: As dental hygiene students, we must always give instructors respect of their experience and knowledge of the dental hygiene profession and implement what they teach us into our daily tasks.
 
Justice and Fairness – The quality of being just and fair to our patients by providing equal and high quality of care to every one of them. Apply justice when dental resources are limited by doing volunteer work, community-based service projects, and by becoming a RDHAP to reach patients lacking mobility and transportation.
 
To our patients: Providing fluoride treatment to every patient regardless of personal or social characteristics.
 
To our peers: To help our classmates the same way we would like to be helped during clinic, class, and outside-of-school activities. Being fair is treating our classmates as equals.
 
To our faculty: By being just, we follow school and clinic protocols and show respect to this dental hygiene institution and the staff who deserve to be treated as professionals who are teaching us to be successful in this career.
 
Veracity – Truthfulness. It is our obligation to tell the truth at all times and we should trust that others tell the truth as well. We value people who are truthful and we hope for truth and honesty between all people we interact with.
 
To our patients: We should always tell the pt. the truth about their oral health, health in general, and about treatment options. We should also expect that our patients are always telling us the truth about their oral hygiene habits, medical history, and pre-medication.
 
To our peers: We should always tell the truth when discussing pts. issues within the office, or when we are discussing other office matters and we should assume that our co-workers are telling us the truth when discussing these matters as well.
 
To our faculty: When discussing clinic or being asked questions by instructors we should always be honest and open about what we are talking about with them, we should also assume that they are always being open and honest with us as well.
 
 
Fidelity – We accept our commitment to be faithful and loyal to our obligations, duties, and observations. We will abide by all rules and regulations and meet all expectations required of us as dental hygienists.
 
To our patients: We are loyal to our patients when we have promised to treat them at a certain time, and we make the patient our first priority. While treating the patient, we abide by the clinic protocol established by RCC and perform our duties as expected such as taking blood pressure and extraoral and intraoral examinations.
 
To our peers: Our word is good. When we say we will do something for a fellow classmate, we do it.
 
To our faculty: We are not always being watched constantly, but we promise as clinicians to give the best care and abide by instructor recommendations. We have promised to not leave out any imperative treatment, and having fidelity states that we can perform thoroughly without being watched.
 
Utility – Utility implies the quality of being useful.
 
To our patients: The clinician must consider the benefits and burdens of each choice when treating a patient. For instance, radiographs are useful in assessing the dental health of the patient. If the patient refuses radiographs, we must explain the benefits of radiographs and the consequences that can arise by not taking radiographs.
 
To our peers: We pledge to be useful to each other. We can feel comfortable in turning to our peers for help and know that we will always consider the benefits and the burdens of the recommendations we make to one another.
 
To our faculty: Students will honor the faculty and utilize all the information that is given. We are not to doubt our instructors in that if they tell us to do something, we do it without question because they are our instructors and they have the experience and knowledge that the students have not attained. We are to put our trust in our faculty and recognize that all the information that is given to us is quality information and is to be ulitized in our profession.
 
Responsibility – As dental professionals, we take responsibility for our actions as we seek to enforce the ethical principles we have established. Responsibility indicates trustworthiness, reliability, and a sense of moral accountability. Responsibility, to us, means that we must admit our mistakes and take credit for our success. 
 
To our patients: Ultimately, we must be responsible to our patients by demonstrating our core values and ensuring that our patients come first.
 
To our peers: We must be responsible to each other as clinicians by being reliable, keeping a clear schedule, and helping one another succeed academically and in our clinical setting.
 
To our faculty: Showing responsibility to our instructors means that we turn in our assignments on time, be organized and prepared, and enforce our Code of Ethics.
 
Riverside Community College
Class of 2009
Code of Ethics
 
Introduction
As dental hygiene students, we are preventive oral health professionals who provide educational, clinical, and therapeutic services to the public. We strive to live meaningful and productive lives that simultaneously serve our patients, our peers, and our faculty. The principles of ethics are the aspirational goals of the profession, provide guidance, and offer justification. By holding ourselves accountable to meeting the standards we have stated, we enhance the public’s trust on which our professional privileges and status are founded.
 
Autonomy – The fact or condition of being self-governing and independent.
 
To our patients: Our patients have the right to full and complete disclosure of proposed treatment. Full disclosure includes cost, services provided and time involved as a patient at RCC dental hygiene clinic.
 
To our peers: As equal students sharing knowledge, each of us holds the right to self determine moral decisions regardless of the opinion of others.
 
To our faculty: Autonomy can be waived to authority, such as agreeing to follow clinic protocol.
 
Confidentiality – Our promise to the patient to uphold privacy including all dental, medical and personal information.
 
To our patients: Confidentiality of the patient’s personal, dental and medical history will remain private unless the patient has granted permission, is required by law, or will protect an individual from emergency or harm.  
 
To our peers: We pledge to uphold the confidentiality of our patients when communicating with our fellow peers. We will not disclose our patient’s name or personal information that could identify him or her.
 
To our faculty: For educational purposes, faculty will not disclose or publish patient names, personal information or identity, even for the means of teaching.
 
Societal Trust – Societal trust is the trust that society has in a profession as a whole. People believe and place their trust in people or groups of people that have been specially educated.
 
To our patients: If the clinician bad mouths the patients’ previous clinician, stating that he or she did not do a good job, the patient in turn will not trust any dental hygienist students and/or staff anymore and will tell his or her family and friends what the current clinician said about the previous one. Now the family members and friends are skeptical and may lose trust in any clinician. Dental professionals should communicate with patients in a respectful manner, provide ethical behavior and a high standard of care, and keep personal information confidential to maintain societal trust in their profession.
 
To our peers: If the patients on the schedule have been given to other clinicians, and upon reviewing the patient chart, the SOAP notes indicate that the patient is there for a 3-week re-evaluation after scaling/root planing, the dental hygienist student brings the patient into the operatory and upon oral evaluation can see a lot of supragingival calculus and upon exploring feel burnished calculus and some small ledges, the student will confront the previous student to inform him of her of the findings. The student may not believe what the other student found, may get defensive, and may want to be the only one to see all of his or her own patients in the future. Both students may end up not trusting each other’s opinions and skills. In order to maintain trust among colleagues, each individual should be responsible for his or her actions, manage conflict constructively, and encourage others to promote professional growth and development.
 
To our faculty: If the clinician is always trying to find short-cuts to get further along in clinic, he or she may start to skip steps and sign up for the DDS exam before an instructor has checked off the x-rays. The doctor does the DDS exam, and the instructor comes in for to check that the radiographs are diagnostic and to check the restorations and will points this out to the clinician. Especially if this is not the first time that the instructor has had to tell this clinician to follow all the appropriate steps, the instructor will not trust that the clinician will perform the steps in order anymore. Each hygiene student should follow the protocol accordingly in order to maintain trust from the instructor.
 
Nonmaleficence – We accept our commitment to always serve the community in a conduct that will minimize harm to our patients, classmates, instructors, and all other individuals involved.
 
To our patients: As RCC dental hygiene students, we are concerned with the safety and well-being of our patients at all times. We must obtain a thorough medical and dental history of all patients prior to the commencement of dental hygiene services. We are to show concern and appreciation to our patients by the continuous use of standard precautions throughout dental hygiene procedures and utilize our time wisely to respect the valuable time of our patients. We are to render competent services to our patients in a safe and stress-free, professional environment.
Avoid potential harm to a patient:
  1. Contact the DDS of record to obtain first-hand the dental radiology history of the patient.
  2. Follow proper protocol of patient initial interview. Ask sufficient, open-ended questions to the patient in order to achieve adequate understanding of any and all possible systemic condition(s). Properly assess the overall health of the patient by including a historical, clinical, and radiographical assessment.
  3.  Use dental armamentarium in a competent and confident manner to avoid possible gingival trauma to a patient. Use sterile and sharpened instruments, as well as the proper instrument to tooth adaptation, at all times.
 
To our peers: We are to work as a team at all times on clinic and in the classroom. We are to follow clinic protocol and never deviate from this protocol as the protocol was placed to ensure the safety of every individual on clinic. We are to take the initiative and help out wherever needed in clinic.
 
To our faculty: We are to show respect to the RCC instructors and staff at all times to maintain mutual respect between the instructors and students, without prejudice or bias, in order to maintain a healthy and strong learning environment. Mutual respect protects everyone from potential emotional stress or harm. 
 
Beneficence – The principle of promoting good or well-being.
 
To our patients: As dental hygiene students, we must always treat our patients with respect and kindness with the main focus being to do good for our patients and prevent oral disease.
 
To our peers: As dental hygiene student, we must always treat each other with respect, encourage, and support each other.
 
To our faculty: As dental hygiene students, we must always give instructors respect of their experience and knowledge of the dental hygiene profession and implement what they teach us into our daily tasks.
 
Justice and Fairness – The quality of being just and fair to our patients by providing equal and high quality of care to every one of them. Apply justice when dental resources are limited by doing volunteer work, community-based service projects, and by becoming a RDHAP to reach patients lacking mobility and transportation.
 
To our patients: Providing fluoride treatment to every patient regardless of personal or social characteristics.
 
To our peers: To help our classmates the same way we would like to be helped during clinic, class, and outside-of-school activities. Being fair is treating our classmates as equals.
 
To our faculty: By being just, we follow school and clinic protocols and show respect to this dental hygiene institution and the staff who deserve to be treated as professionals who are teaching us to be successful in this career.
 
Veracity – Truthfulness. It is our obligation to tell the truth at all times and we should trust that others tell the truth as well. We value people who are truthful and we hope for truth and honesty between all people we interact with.
 
To our patients: We should always tell the pt. the truth about their oral health, health in general, and about treatment options. We should also expect that our patients are always telling us the truth about their oral hygiene habits, medical history, and pre-medication.
 
To our peers: We should always tell the truth when discussing pts. issues within the office, or when we are discussing other office matters and we should assume that our co-workers are telling us the truth when discussing these matters as well.
 
To our faculty: When discussing clinic or being asked questions by instructors we should always be honest and open about what we are talking about with them, we should also assume that they are always being open and honest with us as well.
 
 
Fidelity – We accept our commitment to be faithful and loyal to our obligations, duties, and observations. We will abide by all rules and regulations and meet all expectations required of us as dental hygienists.
 
To our patients: We are loyal to our patients when we have promised to treat them at a certain time, and we make the patient our first priority. While treating the patient, we abide by the clinic protocol established by RCC and perform our duties as expected such as taking blood pressure and extraoral and intraoral examinations.
 
To our peers: Our word is good. When we say we will do something for a fellow classmate, we do it.
 
To our faculty: We are not always being watched constantly, but we promise as clinicians to give the best care and abide by instructor recommendations. We have promised to not leave out any imperative treatment, and having fidelity states that we can perform thoroughly without being watched.
 
Utility – Utility implies the quality of being useful.
 
To our patients: The clinician must consider the benefits and burdens of each choice when treating a patient. For instance, radiographs are useful in assessing the dental health of the patient. If the patient refuses radiographs, we must explain the benefits of radiographs and the consequences that can arise by not taking radiographs.
 
To our peers: We pledge to be useful to each other. We can feel comfortable in turning to our peers for help and know that we will always consider the benefits and the burdens of the recommendations we make to one another.
 
To our faculty: Students will honor the faculty and utilize all the information that is given. We are not to doubt our instructors in that if they tell us to do something, we do it without question because they are our instructors and they have the experience and knowledge that the students have not attained. We are to put our trust in our faculty and recognize that all the information that is given to us is quality information and is to be ulitized in our profession.
 
Responsibility – As dental professionals, we take responsibility for our actions as we seek to enforce the ethical principles we have established. Responsibility indicates trustworthiness, reliability, and a sense of moral accountability. Responsibility, to us, means that we must admit our mistakes and take credit for our success. 
 
To our patients: Ultimately, we must be responsible to our patients by demonstrating our core values and ensuring that our patients come first.
 
To our peers: We must be responsible to each other as clinicians by being reliable, keeping a clear schedule, and helping one another succeed academically and in our clinical setting.
 
To our faculty: Showing responsibility to our instructors means that we turn in our assignments on time, be organized and prepared, and enforce our Code of Ethics.
 
 
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