This course includes professional development, ethics, and jurisprudence with applications to practice management. Topics include conflict management, state laws, resumes, interviews, and legal liabilities as Health care professionals. Upon completion, students should be able to demonstrate the ability to practice Dental hygiene within established ethical standards and state laws.

Prerequisites: Admission into the Dental Hygiene Program

Corequisites: None

Class Hours: 2        Lab Hours: 0        Clinical/Work Exp.: 0        Credit Hours: 2


Business Correspondence, Interviewing and Employment Agreements

  • Prepare an accurate, professional resume, cover letter, and thank you letter.

  • Discuss the details of interviewing skills such as appearance, professional imaging, appropriate questions to present and to be asked, appropriate grammar, voice, and body language, etc.

  • Discuss legally acceptable questions that can be asked during an interview.

  • Become knowledgeable of recommended procedures for seeking a position in the dental hygiene profession.

  • Discuss the components of an employment agreement.

Jurisprudence Governing Dental Hygiene

  • Discuss State practice acts, which apply to the professional practice of dental hygiene.

  • Discuss the North Carolina State practice act and review the Dental Laws of North Carolina including the rules of the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners that directly impact the practice of Dental Hygiene.

  • Differentiate among the legal delegable functions of the dental allied health.

Legality and Ethics

  • Define the following terms: reasonable care, privileged communication, standards of care, negligence, malpractice, breech of contract, technical battery, civil law, criminal law, contracts, tort, contributory negligence, proximate cause, the “Good Samaritan Law”, and informed consent.

  • List the criteria for informed consent.

  • Recognize when a legal relationship is established between the patient and dental health care provider and what may constitute a breach of contract.

  • State the advantages and disadvantages of written contracts.

  • Identify appropriate action by the dental hygienist in the event a patient is injured while rendering dental hygiene treatment.

  • Identify characteristics of a well-documented patient record.

  • Discuss the procedure a dental hygienist or dentist should follow when confronted with a lawsuit or an incident that could lead to a lawsuit.

  • Discuss the rationale for the dental hygienist’s need for malpractice insurance.

Risk Management

  • Differentiate between ethical and legal issues as they relate to dental hygiene.

  • Discuss the ADHA Code of Ethics.

  • Utilize a theoretical approach to solve ethical dilemmas that may occur in the workplace.

  • Define the concept of risk management.

  • Define the components of an effective risk management program and the three activities associated with risk management.

  • Differentiate between general and professional liability.

  • Discuss the concept of settlement of cases where no or little malpractice is evident.

  • Discuss the regulation of “you cannot refuse to treat a patient.”

  • Discuss the guarantees and therapeutic reassurance guarantees in dentistry.

Professional Organizations

  • Discuss the terms of informed consent and informed refusal and their legal implications.

  • Discuss the role of communication in preventing malpractice suits.

  • Discuss ways to resolve and manage conflict in the dental office.

  • Discuss the role of professional organizations.

  • Discuss the benefits of membership and participation in professional associations.

Business Aspects of Dental Hygiene

  • Discuss the concept of lifelong learning.

  • Explain the significance of continuing education to the profession.

  • Discuss continuing education opportunities that exist.

  • Identify and list overhead costs of owning a private dental practice.

  • Itemize payroll deductions and identify employer’s matching share of certain deductions. Calculate gross vs. net wages.

  • Discuss advantages and disadvantages of working with and without a hygiene assistant as it relates to patient care, and office production.

Social Issues

  • Explore patient scheduling with a 10 and 15-minutes daily planner.

  • Explore ways to track hygiene production and monitor monthly fluctuations.

Planning and Investing for the Future

  • Understand the ADA coding system for hygiene-related services

  • Recognize the signs of child, spouse, and elder abuse:
    • Identify social agencies that aid in abuse.
    • Understand legal responsibilities in cases of suspected abuse.

  • Identify legislation that protects and aids the patient and the dental hygienist against discrimination in.

  • Differentiate investment vehicles such as stocks, mutual funds, and IRAs and CDs.

  • Understand the meaning of diversification as it relates to a portfolio.


A Excellent 4 Grade Points Numerical grade of 90 - 100
B Above Average 3 Grade Points Numerical grade of 80 - 89
C Average 2 Grade Points Numerical grade of 70 - 79
D Below Average 1 Grade Point Numerical grade of 60 - 69
F Failed 0 Grade Point Numerical below 60
WP Withdraw Passing 0 Grade Point Issued if the course is dropped after the
census date and on or before the 60% point
of the course unless the instructor issues
a WF based on extenuating circumstances
WF Withdraw Failing 0 Grade Point Issued if the course is dropped after the
60% point of the course or the instructor
chooses based on extenuating circumstances


Regular, prompt attendance is essential for academic success. Students should strive for perfect attendance. It is recognized, however, that students may be absent from class occasionally. Students should reference the instructor's syllabus to determine the attendance requirement for this course. The instructor is responsible for enforcing the attendance requirement. It is the student's responsibility to withdraw from the course. Students may complete the withdrawal process in the Advising Center. Students may receive a grade of WP if they withdraw from a course by the 60% point/date of the course. Any student withdrawals that occur after the 60% point will result in a grade of WF. Exceptions to the "WF" grade may exist if the student has a mitigating circumstance. Students are encouraged to discuss withdrawal options with the faculty member and complete the withdrawal process in the Advising Center.


If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations, please contact Frank Pait, Counselor for Students with Disabilities, at extension 4222, in the Learning Assistance Center (LAC) located on the first floor of the Cuyler A. Dunbar Building (CAD).

If you are a student with a mobility impairment and have a class in a multi-story building, please discuss evacuation plans with your instructor.


Students shall be permitted excused absences from all classes two days per academic year for religious observances required by their faith. The absences requested in accordance with this policy are "one of" and not "in addition to" any absences otherwise permitted by the faculty for a class. The excused absence request must be submitted by the second class meeting and a minimum of two (2) weeks in advance of the absence. Please contact your instructor for the required forms.


Students at CVCC are expected to be honest in all academic pursuits, whether class, lab, shop, or clinical. Acts of academic dishonesty are considered unethical and subject to behavior sanctions. Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to the following:

1. Sharing information about the content of quizzes, exams, classroom/lab/shop/clinical assignments (scheduled or make-up) without approval of the instructor including but not limited to unauthorized copying, collaboration, or use of notes, books, or other materials when preparing for or completing examinations or other academic assignments (scheduled or make-up).

2. Buying, selling, or otherwise obtaining a copy of a quiz, exams, project, term paper, or like document, without approval of the instructor.

3. Plagiarism, which is defined as the intentional representation of another person's work, words, thoughts, or ideas (from any source) as one's own.

4. Failing to follow approved test taking procedures by performing such acts as:
  • Looking on another student's test
  • Use of unauthorized notes; written, electronic, or otherwise
  • Changing answers after exam is scored
  • Verbal, non-verbal, or electronic communication with another student during an exam

Instructors have the authority to impose either a warning, probation, or dismissal from the class for acts of academic dishonesty relative to classes under their supervision.

Students have an obligation to report any acts of academic dishonesty to the instructor or appropriate campus authority when reasonable grounds exist for such a report. Students also have a responsibility to cooperate in the investigation of any alleged acts of academic dishonesty. Failure to report acts of academic dishonesty could result in a behavior sanction as outlined in the Student Conduct Policy, Policy 3.18


Reporting and Response to Sexual Violence, Sexual or Gender-based Harassment, and Other Sexual Misconduct

"Title IX Violations" is the term that will be used to include "sexual violence, sexual or gender-based harassment, and other sexual misconduct" and is explained further in Procedure 3.18.2. The Procedure can be found on the CVCC Website under About Us/Procedures.

Procedure 3.18.2 applies exclusively to Title IX Violations allegations. All other forms of harassment and/or discrimination are handled under Policy 3.18: Student Code of Conduct.

Students and/or employees are encouraged to report Title IX Violations in any of its forms, including, but not limited to, sexual or gender-based harassment, rape, sexual assault, other forcible and non-forcible sex offenses, domestic or dating violence, or stalking, and CVCC supports this procedure for students and employees in compliance with Title IX legislation.

Any student who believes that he or she is being, or has been subjected to, Title IX Violations is encouraged to file a report of the alleged Title IX Violations promptly with the Title IX Coordinator, Dean for the School of Access, Development, and Success.


To Report a Serious Emergency Dial 911 from any campus phone or 911 from mobile phones; then dial 711 (Campus Safety & Security) from a campus phone.

For specific CVCC emergencies guidelines, please refer to the CVCC Emergency Guidebook


Quickly get all persons behind a locked door, close blinds, lock all windows/doors, and turn off lights. Sit against an interior wall away from windows and doors (hide). Keep cell phones ON in silent mode or vibrate. Do not leave the locked area until notified by a known CVCC administrator or by law enforcement that the emergency is over.

Seek Shelter (tornados, hurricanes, etc.)
Move to hallways and/or other inner rooms. Stay away from windows and doors. Sit on floor facing the inner wall and shield head with hands. Remain in shelter until notified by CVCC administration or by emergency personnel that the danger is over.

Building Evacuation
Leave the building immediately and proceed to a parking lot location at least 300 feet from the building. Do not delay to retrieve books or other personal items. Do not use elevators. Do not touch suspicious objects. Stay clear of the building once outside. Faculty should take class rosters if possible and account for all students at evacuation locations. Report any special assistance needed to CVCC faculty/staff or to emergency personnel. If you are aware or suspect someone is trapped in a threatened building, notify CVCC faculty/staff or emergency personnel. Remain at your building evacuation location until further instructions are provided by CVCC administration or by emergency personnel. In case of bomb threat, avoid using cell phones and wireless devices; this may detonate the bomb.

Smoke, Fire or Hazardous Materials
Activate the nearest fire alarm. Before attempting to fight a fire, notify someone nearby. Never attempt to fight a fire larger than wastebasket size. Close doors and windows to isolate the problem if the situation permits. If trapped in a building during a fire, use wet towels or cloths to protect you from flames and smoke. Stop/drop/roll if your clothes catch on fire. Do not open doors that feel hot. Always stay between the fire and an exit. Stay low to the floor as you try to exit.

Personal Emergencies
Unless you feel threatened, stay with the victim until emergency personnel arrive. Avoid contact with bodily fluids. Stay calm and try to minimize panic. If the person is conscious, ask if he/she is a High School student (if so, include this information in your 911 call).

Emergency Procedures Revised: April 4, 2012

Cell phone backup to 711 Campus Safety & Security:

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