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School of Health and Human Services

Current Students - DHYG Program Handbook

Dental Hygiene (DHYG) Program Handbook

Last updated: July 2019

The School of Health and Human Services is a place of warmth and caring. We are always looking to connect with future and current students so please don't hesitate to email if you have any questions.

Camosun College campuses are located on the traditional territories of the Lkwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples. We acknowledge their welcome and graciousness to the students who seek knowledge here.

Once enrolled in a program, you're required to familiarize yourself with the information found in your school and program information pages.

Policies and expectations unique to our program are outlined in the following pages. Please ensure that you read the HHS Student Handbook for general school information.

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1. Welcome

1.1 Chair's Message

Your instructors, support staff, and I want welcome you to the Dental Programs Department.  We are very excited that you have chosen to embark on your educational journey with us at Camosun College. By choosing a program in this department, you have demonstrated that you have a desire to become a health care professional providing valuable dental care to residents of our community.

As you pursue your education at Camosun College, you will see how passionate we are about supporting you on your journey as a student. Learning isn't always a linear pathway and success shouldn't always be defined by progression alone. We value all learning opportunities and recognize that at sometimes, it takes great challenges to reveal strength of heart, clarity of mind, and connection to spirit. We designed these guidelines and procedures to help you understand and access the resources and information you will need to be successful.

Your instructors are committed to helping you transform into competent, compassionate dental professionals. We want you to thrive in the diverse and ever-changing dental workplaces. We work hard to model and promote life-long best practices in dental healthcare by providing you access to authentic learning opportunities using creative, innovative teaching practices. You will have the opportunity to experience the real workplace environments of your chosen profession where you will learn alongside professionals in your discipline.

No matter how long your program is, you are already a member of a diverse, interprofessional team of learners. Get to know the campus, explore college's resources, and spend some time getting to know your instructors and fellow students – they are all part of your support team. We know that your journey into dental education at Camosun College will be the beginning of an inspiring, life-changing future!

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to stop by my office, discuss them with one of your instructors, or any of the dedicated staff here at Camosun College.

Mandy Hayre
Chair, Dental Department

Contact the Dental department.


2. Program Values

2.1 Vision Statement

The Camosun Dental Hygiene Program is a program of choice recognized as a leader in dental hygiene education. We are committed to providing an educational experience that is challenging, supportive, rich and empowering, for everyone involved, within an environment of clinical and academic excellence. We believe that success is the result of collaborative efforts of students and teachers, and we embrace students as future colleagues. Graduates will have the confidence and skills to meet the changing oral health needs of the public and to shape the dental hygiene profession.

2.2 Program Purpose

The Dental Hygiene Program at Camosun College prepares reflective dental hygiene practitioners who are able to think critically and function with a high level of professionalism. Graduates will have the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to provide preventive, educational and therapeutic dental hygiene services in collaboration with individuals and groups. Graduates are eligible to be register as a Dental Hygienist with the College of Dental Hygienists of British Columbia.

2.3 Values and Beliefs

Health Promotion

Health promotion is an integral part of dental hygiene practice.

Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over and to improve their health. To reach a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, an individual or group must be able to identify and to realize aspirations, to satisfy needs, and to change or cope with the environment. (Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, 1986)

Health promotion activities go well beyond the provision of professional services to passive recipients. True health promotion involves the client as an active collaborator and decision-maker. Empowerment is the cornerstone of health promotion. People should be empowered to make informed decisions about their health and maintain control of their health care.

Health promotion is a humanistic approach which puts the person as a whole being in the forefront. Each individual is viewed as a complex of mind, body, and spirit, functioning within a particular environment or social context. Health care services, therefore, must strive to work equitably with each client to restore or maintain a dynamic healthy balance within the individual, family or community.

Oral Health

While oral health is focused on the oral cavity and the head/neck region, it is recognized that oral health conditions often mirror or contribute to overall systemic health. Achievement of optimal oral health is a continuous and changing process. Each individual has his/her own definition of oral health which is influenced by the person's knowledge, values, age, ability, culture, socio-economic level and general state of health.

Oral Health Care

Oral health care services include the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral disease. While every person deserves access to quality oral health care services, in reality, access to these services is influenced by age, attitudes, education, culture, location, general health and economic state.

Each individual is responsible for, or a partner in, making choices and shaping practices that foster oral health. Oral health care is being influenced and changed by increasing consumer knowledge and self-advocacy; the economic climate; government; the health care industry; business and professional practices of dental professionals. Oral health promotion, education, support, maintenance and restoration are of increasing importance to Canadians.

The Dental Hygienist

Dental hygiene is an emerging and evolving profession. As self-regulating professionals, dental hygienists are responsible and accountable for their practice. Dental hygienists practice according to provincial and national standards of dental hygiene care.

Dental hygienists provide client-centered care which views the client as a partner in care. Within this partnership, clients are kept informed of dental health issues that affect health and quality of life. Dental hygienists can provide current and relevant information for their clients to make informed choices in relation to oral health care.

Dental hygienists communicate effectively and develop respectful relationships with clients. They realize that the quality of the relationship directly influences the quality of service and experience for the client.

Dental hygienists are able to think critically, problem-solve, be innovative, flexible and respond to change in the practice environment. They use scientific knowledge, reasoning and intuitive thinking while providing care, support and services. Dental hygiene practice uses assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation. Dental hygienists are able to plan and make decisions individually or collaboratively with a team. They apply safe, effective technical skills in the delivery of dental hygiene services.

Dental hygiene practice is based on current research. Dental hygienists consult research and use relevant findings to direct and validate the provision of quality care. They are reflective practitioners, regularly assessing their care against professional standards.

Dental hygienists are aware of, understand, and respect diversity. This includes the needs, goals, values, abilities, language, culture, race and gender of all people. Dental hygienists support individual differences in positive and constructive ways. They strive to counteract discrimination.

Society is best served when collaborative and egalitarian teams of professionals work together for the optimal well-being of an individual, family or community. Dental hygienists value the unique expertise of other healthcare professionals and work collaboratively for the well-being of the client. Dental hygienists also promote the dental hygiene perspective within the healthcare team.

Dental hygienists are self-aware, confident, and competent. Dental hygienists have initiative, energy, commitment and persistence in all aspects of their practice. They know how to clarify limits, determine needs and seek resources. They have organizational, time management and stress management skills. Advocating for themselves and for the rights of their clients is an important part of their role. Dental hygienists are self-directed in their practice and have a commitment to life-long learning.

Dental hygienists have developed a culture of collegiality, professionalism and service. They provide leadership, support and education for one another. The professional association is a major contributor to the development of the profession and the individual practitioner. Through collaborative professional efforts, dental hygienists have the ability to influence the future of dental hygiene practice at a political, social and professional level.


3. Teaching Philosophy

3.1 Learning and the Learner

Adult learners have their own rate and style of learning. They bring unique backgrounds and experiences to the learning process. Learning is enhanced when learners' experiences are acknowledged, respected and used as part of the learning process. Individuals learn best in a climate of trust where they feel cared for, listened to, and challenged.

Self-confidence and self-direction are enhanced when learners share the responsibility for identifying their learning needs, and planning learning activities. Learners should be encouraged to become advocates for their own learning needs, and experiences.

For optimal learning to take place, opportunities must be provided to apply learning in a variety of real and simulated settings. Learners need to be encouraged to interact in a cooperative context and to share learning with their colleagues. As well, time for reflection is critical to the development of a reflective practitioner.

The commitment to life-long learning is essential to dental hygiene practice. Therefore, dental hygiene students need to be responsive to change and open to innovative, non-traditional means of learning. In order to be successful in practice, this value must be inherent in everything learners believe and do.

3.2 Teaching and the Teacher

Teachers working in dental hygiene education have a passion and enthusiasm for teaching and for their profession. They are self-aware, confident, and competent in their abilities as educators. Likewise, they are confident and competent in whatever aspect of dental hygiene they are teaching. They encourage excellence in dental hygiene practice, personal and professional integrity, and act as advocates for the learners and the program. Teachers have consistent and appropriate expectations, are effective communicators, and problem-solvers.

Teachers are designers of effective learning methods and environments. They continuously strive to improve the quality of learning for students. They use a variety of teaching strategies to meet the needs of their students. They continually reflect on the effectiveness of teaching strategies and make constructive changes as needed.

Dental hygiene teachers help learners to transfer theory to practice. In doing this, teachers must encourage and model a reflective approach to practice. Teachers see themselves as active learners with students.

It is important that teachers work collaboratively with their students, balancing support with challenge to create a climate in which positive learning can take place. Teachers must also work cooperatively and collaboratively with others, both within and outside the Dental Hygiene program. Teachers need to develop teams, plan together, make decisions and support the outcome of team decisions. They require the knowledge, skills, behaviours, values and confidence to lead teams when appropriate, encouraging and contributing to excellence in the learning environment.

Dental Hygiene teachers are dedicated to their profession. They actively contribute to the recognition of Dental Hygiene as a profession through their interactions with students and their involvement with their professional organization. Teachers see themselves as role models of their profession.


4. Program Learning Outcomes

4.1 Performance Indicators

Upon successful completion of the Dental Hygiene program the graduate will be able to:

  • Function as a professional dental hygienist in a variety of practice settings.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking and use evidence based decision-making to provide optimal dental hygiene services to individuals, families and community.
  • Advocate for the improvement of oral health and access to oral health services for individuals, families and community.
  • Coordinate and contribute to the effective management of the practice environment to ensure quality care and services.
  • Demonstrate competency as a clinician using the dental hygiene process of care.
  • Educate individuals, families and community about oral health including its relationship to general health.
  • Communicate and collaborate effectively with individuals, family, community and interdisciplinary teams.
  • Apply health promotion principles to improve the health of individuals, families and community.

Program Outline


5. Collaborative Learning Process

5.1 Progression Policy

The purpose of monitoring academic progress is to help students succeed. The academic progress of all students will be routinely reviewed at faculty meetings. In order to progress academically, students must attain a minimum grade, GPA of 4 and a minimum of B- or COM, in each course of the program. Once a student exhibits problems achieving success in the Program Learning Outcomes and/or course requirements, the following procedure will be initiated.

First, the faculty or staff member will provide the student with a completed "Academic Alert Form" outlining the concern. The student is then asked to set up an advising session with the faculty. The student may also initiate this process with their instructor.

During the advising session, the faculty will complete an "Advising Session Form" with input from the student. This meeting will cover the concerns and strategies for overcoming the issues. Faculty will require that the student meet program/course expectations to remedy the problem. Both should sign the form (an emailed form may be replied to or signed outside of the meeting session indicating the information is completed accurately). The student gets one copy (by email or hard copy) and the other is placed in the student's file. No further action may be necessary.

If concerns are not remedied and the course outcomes are not met, the student will fail the course. Failure of any course will prevent the student from continuing in the program if the course is a necessary prerequisite or pre/corequisite for a subsequent course.

The DHYG Biology courses are delivered by instructors from the School of Arts & Science. These instructors may not utilize the process and forms identified above. Students should inquire as to how their progress will be monitored in courses not offered through Dental.

The following section on the 'At Risk Student' has been provided by the School of Health and Human Services to guide students, faculty and support staff. The aim is to:

  • enhance a learner's chance for success
  • provide opportunities for others to succeed
  • effectively utilize learner and college resources
  • assist students, their teachers, and administrative staff to monitor and intervene when a student is "at risk"
  1. Students are ultimately responsible for their learning and progress and are expected to seek help in a timely manner when they are unable to meet the course requirements. The college is committed to supporting student success and to working with students in achieving their educational goals.
  2. When a teacher, during the process of ongoing assessment, determines a student to be at academic risk, the teacher will alert the student and discuss improvement strategies.   Because students are ultimately responsible for their progress, they should communicate their progress and challenges to the teacher and act on the improvement strategies suggested.
  3. Students entering HHS programs are aware of and agree to these 'standards' and their application, including consultation among teachers and with other support services in Camosun College as required.



6. Professional Behaviour

6.1 Professional Body & Discipline-Specific Definitions/Competencies

Professionalism is an integral part of certified dental assisting and dental hygiene practice. Professionalism is fostered through examination and clarification of values, attitudes, beliefs, missions and vision. These are demonstrated through behaviour and interactions with clients, colleagues, other dental team members, the community and professional associations. Noncompliance with the protocols and guidelines of the Dental Programs indicates a lack of professionalism. These are a few guidelines.

  • Mature and professional conduct is expected. Camosun College Dental Program has an excellent reputation as a quality service provider in the local community and students are expected to uphold this level of performance.
  • Abiding by the expectations that students are at; dressing professionally and wearing a name tag when possible; using professional language; respecting culture and diversity.
  • Discuss differences of opinion between yourself and faculty members in a private environment. Use conflict resolution process to work through difficulties you may encounter. Bring unresolved issues to the attention of the Program Chair.
  • Smoking is strongly discouraged in health professions. Students must not smoke in and around the Dental Building or on Campus (is a smoke-free campus). Any lingering odour of cigarettes must be eliminated from clothing, hands and breath before being in proximity of students, faculty, staff or clients
  • Lap top computers may be permitted in class, clinic or lab only upon approval from faculty.
  • Use of cell phones or similar is highly disruptive to instruction in the class or clinic. Phones are to be turned off or left on 'silent' mode (to be used for emergency purposes only).


7. Classroom, Lab, or Clinic Etiquette

7.1 Expectations of Student Performance

The following guidelines are established to inform students of standards that apply in both the CDA and DHYG programs (Dental programs).

All instructors are available to discuss any rules and regulations. Any assistance or inquiries regarding specific teaching areas are to be discussed with the instructor involved in that area.

Students are expected to complete assigned readings/assignments and to practice psycho-motor skills during scheduled laboratory/pre-clinical hours. Satisfactory performance will be based on faculty evaluation, self-evaluation and feedback from peers. Final evaluation will be done by the dental faculty according to the criteria described in each program Clinic Manual under Competencies/Skill Forms.

Additional practice, coaching or review will be required for skills in which the student is not yet competent.

It is recommended that students work collaboratively with peers, to support and provide feedback to each other during practical sessions.

The following universal competencies are evaluated with every clinic performance: demonstrates professionalism (team-work, problem-solving, communication, accountability/responsibility, manages environment time, infection control, client and self) and applies standards set by College of Dental Hygienists of BC (CDHBC) or College of Dental Surgeons of BC (CDSBC). Specific criteria are provided in course outlines.


In fairness to all students, course assignments must be submitted on the assigned due date. In special situations students may be granted extension, however, this is not presumed and must be decided by individual faculty. It is the student's responsibility to complete all assignments and catch up on any missed material.

Guidelines for Assignments

The following guidelines relate to written assignments throughout the CDA and DHYG programs. Individual instructors may also provide specific instructions for assignments unique to their courses.

Assignments must:

  • Include a title page: with student(s) name, course name, title of assignment, instructor's name and date of submission
  • Be word processed, using 11 pt font (Arial or Times Roman preferred)
  • Include page numbers
  • Be referenced where required (see below under presentation style and format)

It is expected that formal assignments will be clearly written, with attention to correct spelling, grammar, word usage, punctuation, and sentence and paragraph structure.

Presentation Style and Format

Lack of attribution of pre-existing sources is considered in law to be plagiarism, and therefore inappropriate or omitted citation formats can unwittingly give the impression of plagiarism when it is not intended. Unless the instructor requires a different reference system, all assignments should apply the correct APA style rules for citation.

Withdrawal Policy

Students who need to withdraw from the CDA or DHYG program for personal or medical reasons should consult the Camosun College calendar section "Withdrawing from Programs and Courses" for the deadlines dates, procedures and refund policies. Also see "Guidelines for Leaving and Re-Entry."

The "At Risk" Student

An "at risk" student is one who, without change, will not meet course learning outcomes. Course learning outcomes are defined in each course outline. This protocol is to assist in identifying and managing barriers to successful performance and to do this in a timely, goal oriented way. Students will use this protocol to self-monitor their performance and to guide their consultations with their teachers. All teachers within a program are concerned about and share responsibility for student success. Therefore, consultation among teachers will occur with regard to "at risk students". The sequence of consultation may vary depending on the situation and Department.

Identifying At-risk Performance: through verbal feedback, observed behaviours, interactions, review of progress notes, journals and other feedback. Some examples may include:

  1. Poor or minimal achievement      
  2. Inappropriate or unrealistic attitude      
  3. Avoidance of communication with faculty 
  4. Poor impulse control
  5. Poor applications of theory       
  6. Inconsistent performance
  7. Poor spatial or psycho motor skills
  8. Poor attendance (late, absent)
  9. Inappropriate or disrespectful communication
  10. Lack of insight, self-awareness
  11. Poor judgment
  12. Inadequate preparation
  13. Unethical behaviour

Factors impacting performance may include:

  1. Knowledge and skill deficit
  2. English language deficit
  3. Inadequate study skills 
  4. Learning difficulties  
  5. Organizational and time management issues
  6. Motivation/Commitment Issues
  7. Health challenges
  8. Personal issues

Consultation between student & teacher: Either will initiate as soon as issues/concerns arise to foster increased awareness, mutual insight and shared responsibility. The aim is to:

  1. Clearly identify areas of weak performance or concern and potential
  2. Relate concerns to course or program learning outcomes
  3. Determine why performance is at risk
  4. Develop a summary and learning plan including prescriptive strategies and timelines
  5. Evaluate or review in a timely manner
  6. Identify when further consultation with teachers will occur

Teacher consultation with teachers: Based on activities identified above, the team will:

  1. Aim for best practice through collective wisdom.
  2. Critically discuss and advise the teacher regarding due process. Help the teacher identify the student's strengths. Assess communication between student and teacher.
  3. Review the nature and quality of documentation.
  4. Identify strategies that are comprehensive and goal oriented.
  5. Consider alternatives and potential consequences.
  6. Record outcomes of consultation and ensure student is notified.

Possible Strategies: Developed in collaboration with student and teachers; examples may include:

  1. Temporarily adjust or reduce practice assignment
  2. Review theory, encourage lab practice of clinical skills
  3. Provide more supervision, or supervision of a different nature
  4. Give more feedback, and in a variety of ways
  5. Get more feedback, and in a variety of ways
  6. Seek assistance and policy direction external to the department, e.g. Counselling, Student Conduct Policy

Documentation: Record ongoing strategies and progress; student and teacher signatures note documents have been read, e.g.:

  • progress notes
  • mid-term and final evaluation forms
  • academic alerts, conference forms
  • advising sessions
  • learning contracts
  • Collaborative Performance Agreements ("I" Grades)

Academic Probation

A student that fails to maintain a minimum grade allowed: GPA of 4 and a minimum of B- or a "COM" in each course, in each semester will be unable to progress in the program. The student may apply to re-enter the program, to repeat the failed course (see Guidelines for Leaving and Re-Entry).

Students that leave the program are expected to make arrangements with the Clinic Supervisor(s) to remove their instruments.

College Policy on Academic Probation, Academic Removal and Suspension can be reviewed in the Camosun College Academic Policy.

Supplemental Examinations for Dental Students

A student may be given the opportunity to write a supplemental exam for a maximum of two courses in the program. Supplemental exam criteria is as follows:

  • Maximum 1 per semester, 2 per program
  • Will be a comprehensive exam evaluating all aspects of the course content. (This is not a repeat of the final exam)
  • Typically will be 3 hours in length
  • The exam must be completed within a week of the original evaluation whenever possible
  • Instructor will submit a failing grade (C+ or C etc.) as the final course grade, and will submit a grade change (if applicable) after the student's supplemental exam.
  • Maximum grade awarded is 70%, regardless of the supplemental exam score.

Repeating a Course

Students re-entering the program to repeat a failed course may choose to update/upgrade their knowledge in the courses they have already successfully completed. This may be done in a number of ways. Also see re-entry process below.

  1. Students may register to audit a theory course, space permitting. Clinical practice courses may not be audited.
  2. Students may register to repeat past courses, space permitting.
  3. Students may negotiate with the appropriate instructor to attend select classes if they are repeating a course during a semester. 

Guidelines for Leaving and Re-entry into the Dental Programs

When a student leaves the program prior to completion, the Chair or designate will attempt to schedule an exit interview with the student. Where appropriate, a Personal Learning Plan (PLP) may be developed in collaboration with the student which could include specific learning strategies for returning to the program or a recommendation for career counselling.

If a student is eligible and wishes to re-enter a dental program, he/she must follow these guidelines:

  1. Fill out a Camosun College application form at Registration as a HHS Re-entry Applicant. Application for re-entry must be done at the Registration desk, as it is not available online. The application will be date stamped. Deadline for application is June 1st for either Program (DHYG Program or CDA).
  2. Approximately three to four (3-4) months before re-entry, meet with the Department Chair to determine readiness. Students are expected to participate in this meeting to assess their need for preparation prior to re-entry and to develop specific learning strategies to include in their Personal Learning Plan.
  3. A student will only be offered a seat if it is available in the program. When available seats are determined, the Registration Officer will send invitations to re-enter based on the registration priorities for dental programs.
    • Once a student has been accepted, all rules and policies apply as per all students in the program, including the supplemental exam policy.
  4. Students who are not offered seats to re-enter within one year of their exit are not eligible to re-enter as a ‘re-entry student. They are encouraged to re-apply to the program as a new student. New students must enroll in and complete all of the courses in the curriculum.

Re-entry Policy

  1. Permission is granted on an individual basis as long as a seat is available. If more than one student is applying to re-enter, priority is based on:
    • Students who were successful prior to leaving (e.g., medical withdrawal)
    • Students who were unsuccessful will be ranked according to academic and clinical achievement
    • Students who were unsuccessful will be ranked according to their demonstrated level of professionalism.
  2. Re-entry students will be admitted into the program within one year of their departure from the program. If it has been longer than one year, the student is no longer eligible to apply
    as a re-entry student.
  3. Students who have passed a course but wish to repeat the course to increase their
    knowledge are encouraged to do so.
  4. A student may need to be assessed prior to re-entry into a clinical or theory course for competence.
  5. Students are only allowed to re-enter once.

7.2 Grading Systems

In order to progress academically, students must attain a minimum GPA of 4 or a minimum of B- (70%) or "COM" in each course (this includes the DHYG Biology courses), in each semester of the program.

The following two grading systems are used at Camosun College:

  • Standard Grading System (GPA): for Lecture Component
  • Competency Based Grading System: for Clinical Requirement Component

Learn about Camosun's grading systems.

Incomplete Grade

At the discretion of the teacher, students who have shown good progress, but have been unable to complete the requirements of a course due to hardship or extenuating circumstances, such as illness or death in the family, may be issued an Incomplete rather than an "F" or "NC" grade. The following criteria would be used in assigning an "I" grade. The student:

  • has demonstrated consistent progress towards completion of all course requirements and would have met them all if time had not been missed
  • has shown evidence of meeting most of the course requirements, with work required to complete only one or two areas
  • has a reasonable chance of meeting the requirements in the time designated

In such situations a Collaborative Agreement will be developed with the student and it is expected that the student will complete the requirements within the specified time frame. Upon successful completion of the requirements within the specified time frame, the "I" grade will be changed to reflect a passing grade. A failure will result if the contract is not fulfilled on time and as specified.

Test & Exam Protocol


  • Tests/Exams must be written at their scheduled time and place.
  • Everything must be removed from the table, except items required to complete the test/exam.
  • Food is not permitted in the room. Beverage is allowed only if it is contained in a clear bottle or has been checked by the instructor.
  • Final answers are to be written in ink unless otherwise specified by the instructor.
  • There is to be no communication with any other student.
  • Electronic devices are not permitted in the classroom.
  • Students cannot leave the room once the test/exam is in progress. Washroom breaks can be prearranged for medical issues.
  • Books, backpacks or coats are not permitted at the desk/table during the examination.
  • Once the exam is handed in, it will not be returned during the examination.
  • A student caught cheating will be dealt with according to the college Student Conduct Policy.
  • Once the grades are distributed, test or exam papers may be viewed or discussed with the instructor at a pre-arranged time.

Late Arrival for Scheduled Tests

  • Students arriving late for written or laboratory testing are disruptive to their peers and the instructor.
  • A student arriving late will only be admitted to the exam within the first 30 minutes of its commencement. After 30 minutes has elapsed from the start of the test the opportunity for testing will be forfeited.
  • Once the exam has started no student may leave the room until 30 minutes has passed.
  • Students arriving late will not be granted extra time to write the test or to complete the laboratory evaluation.

Missed Tests/Quizzes/Exams

  • Dates and times are set for testing situations. Students are informed of the dates and times at the beginning of the course and are expected to organize their schedules accordingly.
  • Students are expected to notify the course instructor BEFORE the scheduled test session if they are unable to be present. Failure to notify the instructor will forfeit the student's opportunity for a make-up test.
  • If a student is absent from a written test for reasonable cause (e.g. illness, family emergency, etc.) the student may be allowed a make-up test on the first days s/he returns to the program. A physician's note for illness, or a note validating the family emergency, will be required prior to arranging the make-up test.

Use of Recording Devices in the Classroom

Students may not use recording devices in the classroom without the prior permission of the instructor. However, the instructor's permission is not required when the use of a recording device is sanctioned by the college's Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) in order to accommodate a student's disability and when the instructor has been provided with a notification letter which specifies the use of a recording device. Recordings made in the classroom are for the student's personal use only, and distribution of recorded material is prohibited.

7.3 Attendance and Absenteeism

  1. Full attendance is encouraged; class and clinical sessions. Absenteeism could interfere with the student's ability to successfully complete the program.
  2. It is the student's choice as to whether to take time off for personal reasons (e.g. weddings, family events, etc.). However, it is important to know that faculty will not be expected to:
    • Provide student with materials or support regarding content that may be missed
    • Grant extensions for skill completion or for assignments
    • Provide opportunities for missed exams/quizzes
    • Grant additional clinic time
  3. Students unable to attend clinic are requested to notify an instructor and/or the program leader by 7:30am. If clients are involved they must also be notified by the student. Note: it is advised to also inform a classmate so they may communicate the information in case the specific instructor is not available.
  4. A medical/doctor's note may be required for absences of more than three days.
  5. Hours: see time table for class/clinic hours. Evening hours may be required
  6. Practicums, Externships and Community Projects: regular attendance is expected. Active participation reflects responsibility and accountability. See Professionalism (page 12) for respectful deportment and behaviour.
  7. Lectures with guest speakers: Occasionally guests from the community are invited to speak on a topic as part of a theory course. It is a professional courtesy to attend and be on time to classes when a guest speaker is scheduled.

7.5 Dress Code and Guidelines

Clinic/Lab Attire Requirements

See Professional Deportment in Clinic Manual.

7.6 Student Protocol: Infection Control and Confidentiality

Infection Control/Safety

As a Dental Programs student you will learn and practice the highest standards of infection control, personal hygiene and safety for self and clients.

  • When providing clinical care to clients or partners, a well-fitted mask will be worn at all times, and must be changed for each client
  • When working with clients or partners, disposable gloves will be worn and will be changed for each client. If you have a known latex allergy please inform the Clinic Supervisor
  • Safety glasses must be worn for all clinical practice – client, partner or mannequin

7.7 Clinic/Lab Rules

"Stand Ins" for Clinical Practice

During your clinical practice you will be required to act as a client for peers and have skills practiced on you (e.g., radiographs, local anaesthesia, debridement, polishing, fluoride). Students unable to act as clients may be required to provide suitable "stand- ins".

Recruitment of Clients

During certain portions of the program, students will be asked to assist with recruitment of clients for clinical treatment. Further information will be provided in each program.

7.8 Clinic/Lab Information

Student Access and Protocols in the Dental Building

The clinic, lab, dispensary, reception office and locker areas of the Dental Building are reserved learning areas for students in the Dental Programs. Guidelines include:


  • students must be in full clinic attire and follow all clinic guidelines any time in clinic
  • see the clinic supervisors and clinic lead instructor for arrangements to determine operatory availability; other scheduled clinics may be occurring
  • students may practice skills on mannequins only if an instructor is present or when pre-approval is acquired
  • exposing radiographs on mannequins or practicing any procedures on partners requires faculty to be present
  • when walking through or retrieving items from clinic the appropriate walk-ways or corridors must be used
  • be respectful of other groups in clinic and stay clear of areas of activity


  • fabric chairs should be replaced with the plastic chairs anytime stone is being used in the lab and returned once finished
  • do not work in the lab without a buddy present, this being a fellow classmate or other dental program student
  • wear clinic attire when doing any laboratory procedures during scheduled clinic hours; a lab coat is required over street clothes outside of clinic hours
  • after clinic hours a faculty must be informed and present in the building
  • remove jewelry, tie hair back and wear safety glasses to ensure personal protection when performing bench work or working with lab equipment
  • follow asepsis guidelines and lab counter/equipment must be thoroughly cleaned after any lab work


  • when clinic supervisors are not present, students must work with a buddy or at the very least have indirect supervision of an instructor (instructor is aware the students is in dispensary and will follow up with progress during and/or after activity).
  • students must be in clinic attire and follow all asepsis guidelines
  • refer to instructional binders with protocol for all equipment and procedures prior to asking faculty or clinic supervisors

Reception Office

  • students may work on charts or reception tasks in the Reception office as needed; alternative areas are provided for this work and include the area behind dispensary, and the east end of the clinic
  • computers in the reception office area are to be used ONLY for software education and application and/or letters to dentists. They are NOT for personal use (i.e. no assignments, e-mail, internet access etc.)
  • use of any office equipment including computers, phones for personal calls, fax, photocopier is prohibited unless special permission granted
  • clinic attire must be worn if a student is working when any public clinic is in progress; lab coats must be worn over respectful street clothes (no hats, hoodies or shorts) in the reception office area at any time
  • students leaving the reception area at the end of the day are to ensure the lights are off, the door and window is closed and locked as they leave if the Instructional Assistant is not there
  • no food or drink is allowed in reception area


Dental Hygiene students are required to purchase 2 instrument kits, as well as an ultrasonic unit and inserts at the inception of the program (year 2). At the beginning of year 3 additional instruments / equipment are required to purchase to supplement the instrument kits (anesthetic syringe, advanced instruments etc.). Other selected instruments and equipment will be made available for your use in the clinic and lab areas. Be aware of instructions/directions and apply safety standards for use.

Report any breakage or loss to the instructor and/or clinic supervisor. Camosun College is not responsible for any lost instruments or equipment.

Use of Photocopier in Reception

Use of the photocopy machine in the reception area of the Dental Building is restricted to faculty and staff only. Students are not permitted use of this photocopier except by special permission from a faculty or staff member. Permission from a faculty or staff member does not include use for class assignments, projects or personal use.

Key Card access

A key card will be given to each student on Orientation Day. Our dental clinic can only be accessed by this card. There are also certain times of the day when the dental building can only be entered using this card. Each card supplied is on loan to the students by the college. Replacement card cost is $20.00, if lost or not handed back at the end of each school year. Grades are withheld if a student card is not returned or paid for within 1-2 weeks of program completion.


8. Practicum Guidelines

Students will find information on their practicum expectations within their practical skills and practicum course materials. Consult with your instructor or Chair if you are unable to locate your supporting documents.

  1. Clinical and Community Placement Protocol
  2. Student Safety and orientations on practicums
  3. Practice Guidelines/Professional Standards of Practice
  4. Practice Appraisals


9. Program Resources for Learning

9.1 Class

  • The purpose of classroom work is to present or clarify course content information through a variety of delivery methods. Class is to enhance information in assigned readings and assist students in acquiring and applying knowledge and skills.
  • Delivery and learning activities may include lectures, films, guest speakers, case studies of "real-life" situations, small group discussions, seminar and practice in lab or clinical settings.
  • Students will improve success by being proactive in their learning. A willingness for interactive discussion and activities also enhance success.
  • The instructor's role is to facilitate discussion.

9.2 The Dental Lab - Room D104

The dental lab is available for students to practice the skills learned in class or clinic. During the program, there will be scheduled times for students to work in the lab. If additional lab time is needed, this may be arranged in the early morning or after scheduled clinic time as available. An instructor must be notified of the activities and be present in the building.

Note: The dental lab and clinic are scheduled concurrently so students are expected to consult with the appropriate instructor/program for use outside their schedule time.

For safety purposes, students are required to work with another dental student present. See clinic manual for specific guidelines.

9.3 Reception Office – Room D102

The door to the reception office is to be kept closed, the glass partition window secured, and computer monitors and lights turned off when no one is present in the office. Students are expected to adhere to the clinic dress and professional conduct while in the reception area. Students are allowed in the reception office only to perform reception duties and to access client charts and records. The reception area and computers are not to be used for completing homework, projects or other unrelated activities. The reception is a quiet working area, and all conversations should be kept to a minimum at a low volume.

9.4 Clinic Access Outside Scheduled Times

All students should ideally complete their activities during their scheduled clinical time. If this is not possible, students who are working or accessing information in the clinic area must:

  • Be in appropriate clinical attire
  • Act professionally
  • Only walk in the designated pathways
  • Be mindful not to interrupt the other class activities
  • If you must access an area that is being utilized, patiently wait until you can ask for permission or the area is vacated
  • If it is not a suitable time, the student may be asked to return at a later time

9.5 Audio Visual Materials

There are a variety of audio-visual materials (i.e. films, videos) that are helpful in assisting you to learn the material presented in class. Some of these materials may be shown in class time. Others are listed in course outlines or D2L and students may be expected to view these on their own time.

9.6 Peer Group

Important sources of support within the programs are classmates. Many students find it helpful to "buddy" with another student or group of students - to study together, work together in the lab, encourage and support each other, discuss experiences, or discuss questions. Some of the learning experiences are structured so that you will be working with another person or in a small group.

9.7 Instructors

All instructors have office hours and can be reached by email or telephone. The telephone voice messaging system is operational 24 hours a day. Term schedules and contact information are usually posted and students are advised early in the term. The instructor will return your call or correspondence when possible.

9.8 Recreational Activities

There are a number of recreational programs in which you may wish to participate. The office of the Recreational programs and workout gym/activity studio are located in the basement of the Young Building, Lansdowne Campus.

9.9 Library Services

The library closest to the Dental building is located on the Lansdowne campus. There are reference journals and textbooks available in the library and each class cohort will have an introductory session for use of the resources.

Help with research

When you need reliable books, articles and websites for essays and research projects, ask a librarian to help you find suitable items. You can go to the Information Desk in the library, or use the online service called AskAway. There is a link to AskAway, as well as the catalogue and library hours, at

The Library gives you access to thousands of articles through. To find articles that are relevant to Dental topics, click on the Dental link at the top of the database list. These databases will be useful:

  1. Academic Search (EBSCO) – journals with an academic focus, many full-text
  2. Medline – comprehensive index includes dental topics, not full-text. There is an advanced help page for dental topics on Medline at
  3. Alt Health Watch – complementary therapies; academic & popular, consumer-oriented material

You can read the articles on any computer with an internet connection, but to gain access you will need your student number (C######) and library password (or Camosun password). Your library password is usually your birth date in the format MMDDYY. Ask for assistance if this does not work.

If you cannot use this direct link, follow this path: from the library's homepage: click on Magazines/Journals/Newspapers, then select Search for articles by topic.


10. Info for Graduates

10.1 Licensing & Professional Association Information

As a member of the oral health team the dental hygienist is a registered professional, oral health educator and clinical operator. In practice, dental hygienists use preventive, therapeutic and health promotion methods to control oral diseases and assist clients to attain and maintain optimal oral health.

In addition to a Diploma in Dental Hygiene, successful performance on the National Dental Hygiene Certification Exam is required to be eligible for registration in British Columbia. The exam is offered at various locations at specific times each year (spring and fall). The American Dental Hygiene National Board Exam is also offered, usually in the spring. Participation in the American board exam is optional.

A criminal record check is required for eligibility to become registered and work as a Dental Hygienist.

Another requirement for registration with the College of Dental Hygienists of B.C. is a current (within 12 months) CPR certificate. It must be provided at the time of application for registration following graduation.

In British Columbia, legislation relating to dental hygiene practice is assumed by the College of Dental Hygienists of British Columbia. The College identifies the clinical functions of dental hygienists that are included as regulations under the Health Professions Act and Dental Hygienists Standard of practice. These define clinical tasks related to client care but do not specify the many other tasks that dental hygienists may undertake as oral health educators and members of the dental health team. From time to time, additional clinical tasks may be added to the scope of practice of dental hygienists. It is the individual dental hygienist's responsibility to become educationally qualified prior to performing additional tasks.

A Registered Dental Hygienist in British Columbia, according to the regulations, works under the direction of a dentist. This means that the dentist, a licensed member of the College of Dental Surgeons, prescribes general or specific instructions to the dental hygienist and is responsible for the propriety of any duties so delegated. Having given instructions, the dentist need not be present when the dental hygienist is practicing except for the administration of local anaesthetic agents. The dental hygienist is accountable for the performance of delegated functions and the individualization and evaluation of client care and is also responsible for the propriety of care provided.


11. Appendix

11.1 New Student Orientation

We are pleased that you have selected Camosun College as your educational institution of choice. It is an exciting time to be joining a profession whose hallmark is the prevention of oral diseases and overall health promotion. We hope you will enjoy your experience in this quality, fully accredited program as others have for over 25 years.

We are looking forward to meeting you in September. In addition to the Information for Accepted Students, please review the program-specific information attached PDF.

It is very important that ALL students in the Dental Hygiene Program review the orientation document. It is imperative that you work on completing all tasks prior to the first day of classes.

Note There are extremely long wait times for the bookstore during the first two weeks of the program, so getting an early start is highly recommended.


Contact Us
Camosun College Lansdowne
3100 Foul Bay Rd
Victoria BC V8P 5J2
Camosun College Interurban
4461 Interurban Rd
Victoria BC V9E 2C1
  • 250–370–3000
  • 1–877–554–7555 (toll-free)

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