The Annual Renewal Period for Dental Hygienists is Now Open.

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COVID-19 Information

The College recognizes that the COVID-19 situation, as well as government response to COVID-19, is continually evolving. The College will continue to monitor, respond and communicate accordingly.

COVID-19 Immunization

COVID-19 vaccines are a safe and effective way to help prevent infection, protect you from getting severely sick from COVID-19, and prevent the spread.

Current Alberta Health guidance recommends that all eligible Albertans receive their first and second doses of an available and approved COVID-19 vaccine.

Resources:

College Responsibilities

The Health Professions Act (HPA) is the Province of Alberta’s guiding document for regulatory colleges, including the College of Registered Dental Hygienists of Alberta (the College). The College is accountable to the Government of Alberta under the framework established by the HPA.

The College is also responsible for following all public health orders and guidance provided through the Chief Medical Officer of Health.

While the Government of Alberta has not currently mandated COVID-19 vaccines for healthcare workers or any specific populations, Alberta Health Services (AHS) has announced a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for its staff. AHS is a provincial health employer who employs over 100,000 employees. While most RDHs are not employees of AHS, they should be aware of any immunization requirements set by their own place of employment.

Registered Dental Hygienist Responsibilities

It is the responsibility of all registered dental hygienists to comply with the College’s Practice Standards and Code of Ethics, as mandated by the HPA, and to apply these to their dental hygiene practice, regardless of practice setting or area of responsibility.

In regard to infectious diseases and vaccinations, RDHs should be familiar with the College’s Practice Standards, including sections:

1.18.2a Dental hygienists must further ensure personal and client safety by maintaining an up-to-date immunization status.

1.2.14 Dental hygienists must adhere to federal, provincial, and institutional laws, codes and guidelines respecting “communicable or infectious diseases”.

Registered Dental Hygienists should also be familiar with the College’s Code of Ethics, specifically sections:

1.1 Dental hygienists provide services to their clients in a caring and respectful manner recognizing the inherent dignity of human beings;

1.2 Dental hygienists provide oral health care services to their clients through the delivery of quality care in a safe, competent and timely fashion;

1.4 Dental hygienists provide services fairly and without discrimination, in recognition of fundamental human rights and in compliance with applicable human rights laws;

2.9 Dental hygienists will conduct any advertising and promotional activity, including the use of social networks and other electronic media, in accordance with applicable legislation, the Code of Ethics, and acceptable professional standards.

2.9.1. Dental hygienists shall not make a representation to the public that, among other things:

(i) is, in any respect, false, inaccurate, misleading, not objectively verifiable, contrary to the public interest or harmful to the integrity of the profession of dental hygiene; and

(ii) contains claims, comments, comparisons, criticisms, misinformation or unverifiable information of or about other health care professionals or professions.

5.1 Dental hygienists accept responsibility for knowing and complying with the principles, standards, laws and regulations to which they are subject and under which they are accountable.

6.1 Dental hygienists uphold the principles, standards, laws and regulations of the profession before clients, colleagues and others.

6.4 Dental hygienists have a duty to apply the professional knowledge, skills, attitudes and judgements necessary to perform competently in all client assessments and services, in accordance with currently accepted professional standards;

Registered Dental Hygienists must adhere to the applicable governing legislation (Alberta Health Professions Act, CRDHA Practice Standards, CRDHA Code of Ethics and the Alberta Dental Hygienist Profession Regulation) and shall not make any representations that are false, inaccurate, misleading, not objectively verifiable, or contrary to the public interest or health.

Any actions taken, while acting as a regulated health professional, that are contrary to the governing legislation can amount to unprofessional conduct and may be subject to further investigation by the College.