Dental instructor reviews x-rays of people's teeth with a student

Dental Hygiene Program (DHYG) Handbook

Flourishing individuals, families and communities

Policies and expectations unique to the Dental Hygiene (DHYG) program are outlined in the handbook below. Please ensure that you read the HHS Student Handbook for general school information.

Last updated: July 12, 2022


Dental Hygiene Program is a part of the School of Health and Human Services, a place of warmth and caring. We're always looking to connect with future and current students so please don't hesitate to email if you have any questions.

Once enrolled in a program, you're required to familiarize yourself with the information found on 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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Note: Downloaded versions of the student handbook are valid on the date of download. Critical changes or error corrections may happen at any time. Due to COVID-19, information in the handbook may change. Find the college's most up-to-date information about Camosun’s response to COVID-19.

1.1 Chair's Message

Your instructors, support staff, and I want to welcome you to the Dental Hygiene (DHYG) program. We are very excited that you have chosen to embark on your educational journey with us at Camosun College. By choosing a program in the dental 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 times, it takes great challenges to reveal the strength of heart, clarity of mind, and a 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 the 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 or send me an email; or discuss them with one of your instructors, or any of the dedicated staff members here at Camosun College. 


Mandy Hayre DHP-C, BDSc, PID, MEd

Contact the Dental department


2. Program Values

2.1 Vision Statement

Well respected and established, the Dental Hygiene (DHYG) Diploma program at Camosun College is the program of choice for prospective students. Reflective of aspirational health care practice, the program offers an empowering, collaborative, holistic, integrated practice model. The program provides a challenging and dynamic curriculum that balances theory and practice to ensure a quality educational experience. 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 Camosun College Dental Hygiene (DHYG) Diploma program is designed to prepare individuals with the knowledge, skills, and values to provide safe and competent primary health care. The program prepares students to aspire to the highest levels of professionalism.

The program emphasizes the importance of a wellness model of care and evidence-informed practice as students learn to provide comprehensive and culturally sensitive dental hygiene care for individuals, families, and communities. Throughout the program, students develop the skills to communicate and collaborate effectively with clients and interdisciplinary teams.

Professional responsibility to society in the areas of health promotion, education, healthy public policy, and advocacy grounded in the theory of social justice is emphasized throughout the program.

Students enjoy many opportunities to integrate theory and practice through simulated and community experiences, the provision of comprehensive dental hygiene care to the public in the Camosun College Dental Hygiene Clinic, and participation in international field schools.

The Camosun College Dental Hygiene Diploma program is accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada. Graduates of the program must successfully complete the National Dental Hygiene Certification Board Examination to be eligible for registration and licensure with the British Columbia College of Oral Health Professionals as a Registered Dental Hygienist.

Graduates are employed in a variety of settings including clinical practice, community health care, and private dental hygiene practice, and are eligible to apply for degree completion at a variety of post-secondary institutions.

2.3 Values and Beliefs

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. Within this partnership, clients are informed of dental health issues that affect health and quality of life. Dental hygienists 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 think critically, problem-solve, are innovative, flexible and respond positively to the dynamic nature of the practice environment. They use evidence based scientific knowledge, reasoning and intuitive thinking while providing care, support and services. The provision of dental hygiene care is a process that includes assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation. Dental hygienists plan and make decisions individually or collaboratively with a team. They apply safe, effective technical skills in the delivery of dental hygiene services.

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.

Health Promotion

Health promotion is an integral part of dental hygiene practice. Health promotion is a humanistic approach which puts the person as a whole being in the forefront. Each individual is viewed as a complex 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.

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 is tailored to meet the individual needs of each client. True health promotion involves the client as an active collaborator and decision-maker. Building capacity is the cornerstone of health promotion where Individuals are empowered to make informed decisions about their health and maintain control of their health care.

Oral Health Care

Oral health care services include the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of oral diseases that are of increasing importance to Canadians. Oral health care is influenced by increasing consumer knowledge and self-advocacy, social media, economic climate, government, the health care industry, business and professional practices of dental professionals. 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.


3. Teaching Philosophy

3.1 Learning and the Learner

Dental hygiene students, as 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 are accountable for their choices and decisions and are 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; assessment assists in facilitating this process.

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 Instructors

Instructors working in dental hygiene education have a passion and enthusiasm for student-centered learning 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. Instructors strive to provide consistent and appropriate expectations, are effective communicators, and problem-solvers.

Instructors are designers of effective learning methods and environments. They continuously strive to improve the quality of learning for their students. They use a variety of strategies to meet the learning needs of their students rather than teach from an instructor-centered view. They continually reflect on the effectiveness of teaching strategies and make constructive changes as needed.

Dental hygiene instructors help learners to integrate theory into practice. In doing this, instructors encourage and model a reflective approach to practice. Instructors see themselves as active learners with students, acting as guides and mentors.


4. Program Learning Outcomes

4.1 Program Outcomes

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

  1. Practice professionally as a dental hygienist.
  2. Practice ethically, safely, and competently as a dental hygienist.
  3. Demonstrate critical thinking and use evidence-informed decision-making to provide comprehensive dental hygiene care to individuals, families, and communities.
  4. Communicate and collaborate competently with individuals, families, communities, and interdisciplinary teams.
  5. Coordinate and contribute to the effective management of the practice environment to ensure quality care.
  6. Educate individuals, families, and communities about oral health, including its relationship to overall health.
  7. Apply the principles of health promotion and disease prevention to enhance the health of individuals, families, and communities.
  8. Provide the dental hygiene process of care for individuals, families, and communities.
  9. Advocate for the improvement of and access to oral and other health services for individuals, families, and communities.

Program Outline 

Visit the DHYG Academic Calendar to review the complete DHYG program outline and learning outcomes


5. Academic / Collaborative Learning Process

5.1 Standards of Academic Progress 

These standards relating to academic progress in the dental hygiene program are in addition to the policies outlined in the School of Health and Human Services (HHS) student handbook, section 5.2

The goal of monitoring academic progress is to help students succeed. The academic progress of all students is regularly reviewed during weekly faculty meetings. In order to progress academically, students must attain a minimum grade of B- in each academic course and COM in each clinical course of the program. The course syllabus outlines the required learning outcomes and assessment of the course. Students are responsible for reading the course syllabus carefully to ensure they are clear on the expectations for successful course completion.

If a student exhibits challenges meeting the course outcomes, the student can become “at risk” for successful completion of the course and continuing in the program.


5.2 The "At Risk" Student 

An "at risk" student is one who, without change, may not meet course learning outcomes. Course learning outcomes are defined in each course syllabus.

Faculty and students can identify at-risk performance through: reviewing written clinical feedback, reflecting on challenges with clinic performance, by reading assignment feedback and exam results. Examples could include:

  1. Achievement below the required B-
  2. Inappropriate or unprofessional attitude
  3. Avoidance or disrespectful communication with faculty 
  4. Poor impulse control
  5. Poor integration of theory into practice
  6. Inconsistent performance
  7. Poor spatial or psycho motor skills
  8. Inconsistent attendance (late, absent)
  9. Lack of insight, self-awareness
  10. Poor judgment
  11. Inadequate preparation
  12. Unethical behaviour

Factors impacting performance may include:

  1. Challenges understanding and integrating knowledge and skills
  2. Challenges with English comprehension and verbal communication
  3. Poor study skills 
  4. Learning challenges
  5. Organizational and time management issues
  6. Motivation and over commitment
  7. Health challenges
  8. Personal issues

Once concerns are identified the following procedure will be initiated:

First, the instructor will contact the student and outlined on the "Academic Alert Form” the areas of challenge and concern. In addition, the student will be asked to set up an advising session with the faculty. During the advising session, the faculty will summarize the discussion on the "Advising Session Form". The goal of this meeting is to discuss concerns and develop strategies for success. The completed form will be emailed to the student to ensure that mutual understanding. The student will be asked to sign the form or sends an email the instructor back acknowledging the plan for success. The student will receive a finalized copy (by email or hard copy) for reference, and the instructor will retain a copy. It is hoped that this process will aid the student in achieving success. If concerns continue, further meetings will be recommended.

If a student continues to have academic or clinical performance concerns, a Personal Learning Plan Contract will be created that outlines the course outcomes that the student is at risk of not completing with specific timeframes for course completion. Strategies to aid the student will be included in the contract. The advisor or course instructor will meet with the student to discuss concerns and co-develop strategies. If a student does not meet course outcomes or attain the required B- or COM grade, the student will be unable to continue in the program if the course is a necessary prerequisite or co-requisite for a subsequent course. If a student is unsuccessful in a course, the student will be directed to meet with the Program Chair to discuss options.

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

  1. Temporarily adjust or alter timelines for completion
  2. Reviewing theory, and/or encouraging lab practice of clinical skills
  3. Attending all classes and clinical sessions to avoid missing integration of theory into practice
  4. Providing additional clinical coaching based on instructor availability
  5. Utilizing extra practice times following Camosun after hours policies
  6. Additional feedback and discussion for increased clarity of areas needing improvement
  7. Seeking assistance and policy direction external to the department, e.g. Counselling, Writing Center, Student Conduct Policy

Note: The Biology courses that are part of the dental hygiene program are delivered by instructors from the School of Arts & Science. These instructors will follow the academic process consistent with their department. Biology instructors regularly liaise with the Dental Program Chair and Program Leader regarding student progress.

Academic Probation “In Progress”

On an individual basis, under extenuating circumstances, faculty may provide a student with an Academic Probation Contract that may allow for course extension. An “In Progress (IP)” grade is given with the Academic Probation Contract that specifically outlines the requirements for course completion and the deadline consistent with Camosun College policy. The following criteria is used in assigning an "IP" 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 designated time

In such situations, an Academic Probation Contract will be developed outlining the requirements the student must complete by a specific due date. Following successful completion of the requirements within the specified time frame, the "IP" grade will be changed to reflect a passing grade. If the Academic Probation contract is not completed by the specified due date, the student grade will be changed from an “IP” grade to an F and the student will not progress in the program.

A student that does not maintain the minimum of B- or a "COM" in each course, may be unable to progress in the program. The student will be directed to meet with the Program Chair to discuss next steps. The student may apply to re-enter the program, or may be able to repeat the failed course and then re-enter the clinical program if space is available. (Note, Guidelines for Leaving and Re-Entry are under review).

Students that leave the program are expected to make arrangements with the Clinic Supervisor or Program Leader to remove their instruments within 3 months of exiting the program. Camosun is not responsible for storing student instruments beyond 3 months. If arrangements are not made with the Program Leader or Clinical Supervisor, the instruments will be considered abandoned and become the property of the dental hygiene program. 

College policy and process on academic alert, probation, removal and suspension can be reviewed in the Camosun College Academic Progress Policy.

5.3 Academic Integrity

Representing the work of others as your own is plagiarism. The consequences of plagiarism and breaches in academic integrity are covered under the Camosun College Academic Integrity Policy.

These standards relating to academic progress in the dental hygiene program are in addition to the policies outlined in the  School of Health and Human Services (HHS) student handbook, section 5.2

The goal of monitoring academic progress is to help students succeed. The academic progress of all students is regularly reviewed during weekly faculty meetings. To progress academically, students must attain a minimum grade of B- in each academic course and COM in each clinical course of the program. The course syllabus outlines the required learning outcomes and assessment of the course. Students are responsible for reading the course syllabus carefully to ensure they are clear on the expectations for successful course completion.

If a student exhibits challenges meeting the course outcomes, the student can become “at risk” for successful completion of the course and continuing in the program.



5.4 Assignments. Tests, Examinations and Assessment

In fairness to all students, course assignments must be submitted on the assigned due date. In special situations, faculty may grant a student an extension. It is the student's responsibility to complete all assignments and learn missed course material if absent.

Guidelines for Assignments

The following guidelines relate to written assignments throughout the 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. (font change should all be the same font and size)

Testing 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.

Test and Exam Protocol 

Guidelines for the DHYG program are in addition to the School of Health and Human Services (HHS) student handbook, section 5.4


  • 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. Water is allowed in a clear bottle
  • 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.
  • All academic misconduct will be handled according to the Camosun College Student Academic Misconduct 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. ( in HHS handbook would like it deleted)
  • 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, the faculty may make alternative arrangements for course assessment

Supplemental Examinations

A student may be given the opportunity to write a maximum of two supplemental exams during the course of the program. Supplemental exams are:

  • Offered for DHYG courses only (BIOL courses are not eligible for supplemental examination).
  • Offered only for progression in the dental hygiene program. If a student does not meet the learning outcomes for a clinical course, the student is not able to progress in the program at this time, and therefore would not be eligible for supplemental examination in didactic courses. This policy is to ensure that students are current in their didactic information when in clinical courses.

5.5 Grading system: See the HHS program handbook section 5.5

Grading systems for the DHYG program are in addition to the School of Health and Human Services (HHS) student handbook, section 5.5.

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 and are outlined in the Grading Policy

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

5.6 Guidelines for Withdrawal from DHYG Program

Students who need to withdraw from the DHYG program for personal or medical reasons should consult the important dates page for information on deadlines for fees related to dropping courses and tuition refunds.  For course withdrawal requirements and process, see the Camosun College Course Withdrawals Policy.

Students intending to withdraw should contact the Program Chair for direction. If a student withdraws from the program they must pick up their instruments within 3 months of exiting. Instruments left beyond 3 months will be considered abandoned. See section 5.2.

Students should also consult section 5.6 of the School of Health and Human Services (HHS) student handbook 

5.7 Guidelines for Leaving and Re-Entry

This section is currently under review


6. Professional Behaviour

Professional Body & Discipline-Specific Definitions/Competencies

All students in health programs at Camosun College are expected to read and familiarize themselves with section 9.0 Professional Behaviour, in the School of Health and Human Services (HHS) student handbook. 

The dental hygiene program fosters an environment to support graduates to become empathetic and skilled primary healthcare providers entrusted with the privilege to become registrants of the British Columbia College of Oral Health Professionals and/or other provincial dental hygiene regulatory bodies. Professionalism is discussed to clarify the expectation of values, attitudes, beliefs, missions and vision required of dental hygienists. These are demonstrated through behaviour and interactions with clients, colleagues, other dental team members, the community and professional associations. Compliance with the protocols and guidelines of the dental hygiene programs is an indication of professional conduct. Students are expected to abide by the following guidelines.

  • Mature and professional conduct is expected. The Camosun College Dental Hygiene Program has an excellent reputation as a quality service provider in the local community and students are expected to uphold this level of performance.
  • Abide by expectations for decorum: 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 processes to work through difficulties that may be encountered. Bring unresolved issues to the attention of the Program Leader and/or Program Chair.
  • Smoking/vaping is strongly discouraged in health professions. Students must only use the designated smoke/vape areas on campus (a smoke-free environment). Any lingering odour of cigarettes must be eliminated from clothing, hands and breath before being in proximity of students, faculty, staff or clients


7. Classroom, Lab, or Clinic Etiquette

7.1 Expectations of Student Performance

Students must be aware that self-direction, good organization and time management skills are central to successfully meeting the multiple demands of academic and clinical work in the dental hygiene program. Students should anticipate that a great deal of effort and many hours per week outside of class and clinic time are devoted to studying, completing assignments, and coordinating client care. Students are encouraged to carefully consider the lifestyle changes that are likely required to balance their personal life and study load in this professional program. 

The following guidelines are established to inform students of standards that apply in both the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) and Dental Hygiene Diploma (DHYG) programs:

All instructors are available to discuss any college policies, school polices and program guidelines.  Any assistance, inquiries, or concerns regarding specific teaching areas or evaluations are to be discussed with the instructor involved first. After discussion with the instructor involved, if a student remains unclear or does not feel an evaluation is fair, they may discuss it with the Lead Instructor or Program Leader. Students and faculty are expected to follow protocols for professional communication and conflict resolution as outlined in this manual.

Students are expected to complete assigned readings/assignments and to practice clinical skills during scheduled laboratory/pre-clinical hours. Satisfactory performance will be based on faculty evaluation, self-evaluation and feedback from peers. Faculty evaluates clinical competency according to the criteria described in the respective competency/skill evaluation located in the program’s Clinic Manual.

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.

7.2 Classroom etiquette

Faculty set expectations for attendance and behaviour in their classes.

Lap top computers are beneficial to access MS PowerPoints and for note taking during classes. Accessing social media or other websites can be disruptive and distracting to other students and is strongly discouraged. Students may be asked to turn off computers if misuse is impacting other students.

Use of cell phones or similar devices maybe disruptive to instruction in the class or clinic. Phones are to be used for contacting clients and then turned off or left on 'silent' mode during client clinics. Students are encouraged to avoid cell use in class and have their phones on silent as to not be disruptive. Cell phone use may be encouraged for class participation as guided by instructors.

7.3 Use of Recording Devices in the Classroom

Students may not use recording devices in the classroom without the prior permission of the instructor unless as a part of an academic accommodation.  Instructors are notified by the Center of Accessible learning of accommodations. Recordings made in the classroom are for the student's personal use only, and distribution of recorded material is prohibited. Faculty may offer to record lectures. If an instructor records a lecture, all students will be notified that the class is being recorded.

7.4 Attendance and Absenteeism

  1. Education in a regulated professional program requires completing assignments and passing examinations and development of professional ethical decision making. Full attendance is strongly encouraged for all class, group, lab and clinical sessions. Absenteeism can interfere with the student's ability to successfully complete the program.
  2. Students who choose to take time off for personal reasons (e.g. weddings, family events, etc.). are responsible for all missed course content. Faculty cannot be expected to:
    • Provide student with materials or support regarding content that may be missed
    • Grant deadline 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 the clinic lead and/or the program leader by 7:30am. Students must directly notify any clients that were scheduled to see them.
  4. Hours: See time table for class/clinic hours. Extended day and evening hours may be required.
  5. Practicums, Externships and Community Projects: Regular attendance is expected. Active participation reflects responsibility and accountability. See Professionalism (section 6.1) for respectful deportment and behaviour.
  6. 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. Student presentation: Students are expected to support peers by attending classes where peers are presenting projects. Senior students attend clinics, the IDE festival and present their capstone projects to the community outside regularly scheduled classes. Attendance is required at these special events.

7.5 Dress Code and Guidelines

All students in health programs at Camosun College are expected to read and familiarize themselves with section 9.0 of the School of Health and Human Services (HHS) student handbook

Specific requirements for clinical attire are outlined in the Professional Deportment section of the DHYG Clinic Manual.

7.6 Infection Control

Dental Program students learn and practice the highest standards of infection control, personal hygiene and safety for self and patients/clients. Safety protocols are outlined in   the Safety Procedures Manual for Dental Programs (available on D2L) and the Clinic Manual.

7.7 Recruitment and Students as Clients

"Stand Ins" for Clinical Practice

During your clinical practice, you will be required to act as a patient/client for peers and have skills practiced on you (e.g., medical histories, radiographs, local anaesthesia, debridement, polishing, fluoride). Students unable to act as patients/clients must consult with the Lead Clinical Instructor for guidance on alternative arrangements. All information obtained during “stand in” clinics must remain confidential.

Client Confidentiality

The Freedom of Information Act of BC outlines that the confidentiality of personal information must be maintained at all times. Any information that identifies a person including their name, address, phone number, SIN or birthdate must remain confidential.  During the dental hygiene program, students may acquire contact information for clients and maybe required to email clients and instructors regarding their clients. Strict protocols are in place to ensure client confidentiality. Students must indicate that they understand and will abide by these protocols by signing the Dental Programs Confidentiality Agreement. Students may not take pictures of the clients on the clinic floor, the appointment book or any charts labeled with the client’s name. If a client picture is required for a specific project or referral, written informed consent must be obtained from the client. Contact information and any other client information must be removed from student computers and phones upon graduation.

Recruitment of Clients

Students must provide care for a required number of clients to meet program outcomes.  The Camosun Dental Hygiene program provides the majority of clients for students to gain the skills needed for graduation, however is not responsible for providing all the required clients. Students must recruit a portion of the number of patients/clients needed for graduation. Pamphlets outlining the services provided at the clinic are available for students to post in approved areas (condo laundry rooms, bulletin boards etc). Students may use social media to recruit clients but must obtain instructor approval of wording prior to posting. There are strict rules regarding use of “Camosun College” is any marketing that must be adhered to.  

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 to ensure safety include:


  • students must be in full clinic attire and follow all clinic guidelines any time in clinic
  • students wanting to practice instrumentation or other clinical skills must contact and arrange a suitable time with the clinic supervisors and the lead clinical instructor to determine operatory availability
  • 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


  • students must have a buddy present when working in the laboratory (a fellow classmate or other dental program student).
  • students must where 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 member must be informed and be present in the building in order for students to work in the lab
  • follow asepsis guidelines, remove jewelry, tie hair back and wear safety glasses to ensure personal protection when performing bench work or working with lab equipment
  • lab counter/equipment must be thoroughly cleaned after any lab work


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

Reception Office

  • students may work on charts or reception tasks in the Reception office as needed; alternative areas are also provided for this work and include the area behind the 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, or the 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 the reception area

7.9 Use of Dental Building Outside of Scheduled Class Time 

The use of the dental clinic and/or dental classrooms before or after students’ timetabled classes is a privilege approved by faculty to allow students access to additional practice or study time. The following guidelines must be adhered to at all times to ensure respectful sharing/use of the facilities and the safety of students. To ensure continued access to this privilege students must demonstrate compliance with the guidelines. Since the additional time is unsupervised by faculty, students are responsible for ensuring they are observing the guidelines for themselves and their peers at all times. Non-compliance will result in individuals or programs having their access revoked. If a student observes others not adhering to the guidelines, they should report it as soon as possible to a faculty member.

Students have access to the dental building from 7 am to 9 pm, Monday to Friday using their access card. Students do not have access to the building on the weekends, holidays, or when the campus is closed (eg. snow day). 



  • Students working in the building must be aware of the custodian and allow him/her to complete his/her cleaning tasks. Accordingly, students must vacate the classroom/area that they are working in. They are able to return to the space after the custodian has left.
  • Students may work unsupervised in the building after hours between the 7:00 am – 9:00 pm as long as the space is not being used by other classes, or booked for other activities. 

All areas in the dental building:  

  • Students must leave the area they were working neat, clean and organized. If the area was not in ideal condition when the student started to use it, they are still responsible for leaving it in good order once they are done.
  • Students must refrain from running, making loud noises, or otherwise disrupt the learning environment for others.
  • Students are expected to share the learning resources for the benefit of everyone. If someone is waiting to use the space, have a discussion about how to share the space or put a time limit on the use by one party.

Classroom/Reception areas:

  • Student may work in these areas to study, work on client charts or other paperwork until 9:00 pm.
  • Group assignments and projects may be completed by students in these spaces.

Dental Clinic and/or Dental Lab:

  • Students must adhere to all safety procedure/protocols.
  • Students must prepare, use and leave the area, equipment, supplies etc. according to dental programs guidelines and/or curriculum.
  • Students must follow the Infection Prevention and Control procedures at all times. 
  • Students must ensure they leave the clinic in order before leaving. This includes cleaning/disinfecting the area, disposing of refuse, leaving the clinic in a neat/organized manner. As well, all supplies and equipment should be returned to the original location, and all equipment/instruments must be fully processed and ready for sterilization.
    • For sterilization items, process the instruments/cassettes/equipment is bagged or wrapped for sterilization the next day.
  • Students may work on manikins only. The only exception is students can work on a peer if they are using a long cotton tip applicator for instrumentation, landmarking etc.
  • Radiography exposure is permitted on Dexter/Mannikin. No radiography exposure is permitted on student peers without faculty supervision.
  • Instrumentation practice must be on a manikin only. No instrumentation on a peer using dental instruments of any kind. 
  • Students may work in the lab (study models, whitening trays etc) following successful completion of the lab safety assessment test.
  • Students may practice the following if a faculty member is present and willing to supervise and assist if something untoward were to happen. In order to ask a faculty member for supervision, the student must arrange this with the faculty member in advance and clearly identify how long the faculty member will stay:
    • Radiography exposure on peers
    • Instrumentation on a peer. The faculty member must conduct a tissue check at the end of the session, before the peer is excused.

If students are unsure or have any questions, they must contact a faculty member for clarity before proceeding

7.10 Completion of Dental Hygiene Care via Teledentistry

Teledentistry facilitates the provision of care to clients while they are at home. Clinicians must ensure that health information obtained during teledentistry conversations remains confidential and documented according to legal requirements and professional standards.

Students may contact clients to complete the following components of dental hygiene care via teledentistry:

Health History Assessment: The initial assessment appointment where 'yes' responses are elaborated may be completed. Updates are not to be done over the phone for subsequent appointments as this should be done on the floor as it would be in private practice.

Record of Medications/Supplements: Remember to ask for the correct spelling of medications and supplements to facilitate the search for indications and contraindications.

Oral Self-Care/Social Determinants of Health: Asking questions about self care products will allow clients to check on which products they actually have and use at home.

Students must contact clients from the dental building at Camosun College, so that the completed documentation never leaves the dental building. Students should be aware of who is around them when they make the call to ensure privacy is maintained. To obtain informed consent for a teledentistry call, the student must provide the following information:

  1. Are you in a private area where you are comfortable providing personal health information.
  2. Inform the client of their right to discontinue the call at any time for any reason.
  3. Inform the client that information provided will be documented on their chart and stored at Camosun College, and it will be verified at their next appointment before they sign the HH form.

The student must document that the information was obtained and provided via teledentistry on the treatment record and that informed consent was obtained. Documentation completed via teleconferencing must be reviewed and signed by the client and instructor when the client returns to the clinic for care. Charts must be returned to reception area once the documentation is fully completed and prior to the student leaving the dental building. Under no circumstances, can client charts be stored in lockers.

7.11 Practicing Clinical Procedures Outside the Dental Building

Student often want to practice clinical procedures, documentation, or other aspects of clinical learning outside of the dental clinic. The following guidelines must be followed at all times to ensure the safety of all.


  • Students must follow the Canadian Dental Hygiene Association Code of Ethics, British Columbia College of Oral Health Professionals' Code of Ethics and dental program policies.
  • If students are uncertain how or if they are able to practice certain activities at home or outside class time, they must consult with faculty before proceeding with any activity.
  • Students may practice demonstrated instrumentation skills on a Kilgore model as long as they follow established safety protocols, such as using a fulcrum.
  • Students may not practice any intraoral skills on peers, family or friends outside the dental building.

7.12 Equipment/Instruments

During the program, students are required to purchase both a year 2 and year 3 clinical kit. In addition, students may be required to replace worn instruments to ensure client safety. All student purchased instruments are the property of students and are retained by the student after graduation.

The Camosun College Dental Hygiene Program supplies many instruments, pieces of equipment, and supplies for student use in the clinic and lab areas. Students are expected are to be familiar with operating and safety standards for all equipment. Damaged or lost instruments or excessive use of program provided supplies may result in an additional cost to the student for replacement.

Students store instruments in a shared cupboard in the dispensary. Students should regularly perform an inventory of all their instruments to ensure they are accounted for and stored properly in the cupboard. If an instrument goes missing, it is imperative that this be reported to the lead clinical instructors and/or clinic supervisors immediately upon notice to allow for the greatest opportunity for recovery. Camosun College is not responsible for lost or misplaced instruments.

Camosun College is unable to provide refunds for clinical instruments, equipment, and/or supplies should a student exit the program prior to graduation.

If a student withdraws for the dental hygiene program, they must pick up their instruments within 3 months. If arrangements are not made with the Program Leader or Clinic Supervisor, Instruments left beyond 3 months will be considered abandoned and become the property of the Dental Hygiene Program.

7.13 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.

7.14 Key Card Access

Access to the dental building is controlled by key card. A key card will be given to each student on Orientation Day. Students have access to the dental building from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm. In the event that a key card is lost or damaged, students must notify the Program Leader who will begin the replacement process. Replacing missing cards can take 1-2 weeks so it is wise to carefully look everywhere prior to requesting a new card. Key cards are surrendered at the end of the April courses and upon program completion. Grades may be withheld if a student access card is not returned within 1-2 weeks of program completion.


8. Community Practice Guidelines

Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from community practice settings. Specific expectations for orientation, cultural sensitivity, and deportment for each practice setting will be reviewed in advance of each placement.


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 the 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. The cash box used for client payments must be out of site and stored in the file cabinet at night. Students are expected to adhere to the clinic dress and professional conduct while in the reception area. Reception is a designated area to perform reception duties and to access client charts and records only. 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:

  • Arrange permission with the Lead Clinical Instructor and the Clinic Supervisor
  • Be in appropriate clinical attire
  • Act professionally
  • Only walk in the designated pathways
  • Be mindful not to interrupt the other class activities
  • access areas being utilized by other classes.
  • Be aware that If it is not a suitable time, they may be asked to return at a later time

9.5 Peer Group

Classmates are important sources of support within the program. 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.

9.6 Instructors

All instructors have office hours and can be reached by email or telephone. The instructor’s preference for communication will be discussed on the first day of a course. The telephone voice messaging system is operational 24 hours a day. Schedules are posted on the instructor’s office door early in the term. Instructor contact information is located on the individual course syllabus. Instructors will endeavor to return calls or answer correspondence within 48 hours.

9.7 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.

9.8 Library Services

The library on the Lansdowne campus is located across from the Dental building. 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

Librarians are available to assist students in locating suitable resources (books, articles, websites) to complete essays and research projects. Students may go to the Information Desk in the library, or use the online service called AskAway. A link to AskAway, as well as the catalogue and library hours can be found at

The Library provides access to thousands of articles through multiple databases. To find articles that are relevant to dental topics, click on the “Dental” link at the top of the database list.


10. Information for Graduates

10.1 Licensing & Professional Association Information

Dental Hygienists must register and be licensed with the British Columbia College of Oral Health Professionals  in order to practice dental hygiene in British Columbia. Requirements for registration are listed on the CDHBC website. The Camosun College Dental Hygiene Program provides a list of graduates to CDHBC each year to facilitate timely registration.

The British Columbia Dental Hygiene Association (BCDHA) is the voice of dental hygienists in British Columbia. BCDHA membership is affiliated with the Canadian Dental Hygiene Association which provides many benefits to members including malpractice insurance, continuing education, advocacy, and professional support. All Camosun College Dental Hygiene students will become student members of CDHA/BCDHA while in the program.


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.

An email containing specific Dental Orientation information will be sent to in-coming students at the email address on MyCamosun.  It is very important that ALL students in the Dental Hygiene Program review this orientation information as it contains tasks must be completed on or prior to starting the program.


Dental Clinic training

HHS Student Handbook

Visit the  School of Health and Human Services (HSS) Student Handbook for general school information.

Contact information

School of Health and Human Services

Flourishing individuals, families and communities

Location link

CHW 207