Bloodborne Infectious Disease Risks
A dental hygienist provides direct patient care to all individuals according to the principle that all people should have access to health care. Therefore, the dental hygienist will treat individuals with potential bloodborne diseases in their education program and in their professional practice. The dental hygiene student will have the knowledge and skills to safely treat patients regardless of their health status and to respect the confidentiality of all patient information.
Dental health care workers (DHCW) are at risk of acquiring hepatitis and other infectious diseases due to work-related exposure to potentially infected bodily fluids (blood and saliva). In recognition of this risk, the dental hygiene program presents this information in the curriculum as well as the Department informs dental hygiene students of the modes of disease transmission, methods and procedures for minimizing transmission, and the appropriate protocol to be followed in the event of exposure to potentially infected bodily fluids. Policy has been established to assure that dental hygiene students, faculty and staff do all that is possible to protect themselves and patients from the spread of infectious diseases in the dental environment.