Code of Ethics: Dental Hygienists
Code of Ethics: Dental Hygienists
Health professionals are mandated to offer a variety of health services to the community in the health sector. A registered professional, therefore, has a duty to promote safety and well-being of patients at all times. The code of ethics outlines a set of guidelines for the conduct and professional relationship in respect to those accessing the professional services and between jobs. In this essay, dental hygienist code of ethics is to be outlined. The obligation of a dental hygienist is to offer preventive care through the use of distinct equipment and educating patients on dental care.
Dental hygiene code of ethics that governs a dental hygienist stipulates that they are qualified professionals that are committed to averting diseases and advancement of public health. The fundamental principles of the code of ethics include holding human beings in high esteem and individual autonomy. A dental hygienist is required to be conversant with his or her values regarding professional ethics that they should consider when discharging their duties. They include ensuring confidentiality by protecting the patient’s privacy and being updated on the changes in portability of health insurance and accountability act regulations. Societal trust reliant on the principles and values dental hygienists choose to uphold in order to gain the clients’ trust in their professional action and behaviour.
The dental hygienists also reflect upon on the principle of beneficence which entails promotion of fair and reasonable access to better oral treatment as a critical part of the health care system. Communication of treatment to clients is made in advance including how the data may be made public without the consent of the client. Therefore, the use of patients’ data for purposes of learning can only be permitted by the client only.
The principle of autonomy concerns the client’s rights to make decisions on their own through communication of information openly and candidly. Dental hygienists actively involve patients in deciding on the way forward regarding the maintenance of their oral health considering the needs, understanding capacity and also the values. In the case that a client is unable to make an informed decision, then there is involvement of a substitute decision maker to assist in decision making. In the presence of substitute decision maker, the hygienists can actively involve the patients to the level of their capability (Conti et al., 2013). The cultural context and differences is considered when assessing and planning interventions with individuals accessing their services.
The principle of integrity that seeks to promote equality and justice prioritizing patients that are more vulnerable. This assists in conveying a sense of wholeness and undertaking their duties with honesty. The life-long learning undertaken by the professionals help in maintaining and advancing their awareness and abilities in oral hygiene. Dental hygienists adhere to the set regulations and ideals of the career when dealing with fellow colleagues, patients and also those that they associate with in a proficient manner. In accordance with the principles and standards, (Beemsterboer, 2016) cooperation between the colleagues helps in promoting workplace cohesion with the main objective of offering impartial and high-quality solutions to communities and individuals.
Accountability of the professional means being liable for any action and lapses in regard to the laws and regulations set. This includes the possibility of self-assessment and to be assessed. Dental hygienists acknowledge duty regarding and acting reliably with the ideals, practice standards, laws and guidelines under which they are responsible. They practise within their areas of proficiency, personal and professional limitations. The professionals report to their employers of any unprincipled practice carried out by a fellow associate in the event that the environment is not conducive for safe and competent practise (Prasad et al., 2011). This assists in addressing issues that may hinder provision of services within area of practise. The employers are informed of the principles and regulations in which the hygienists are answerable and decide if the working conditions are ideal for practising professionally.
Importance of code of ethics on all health professionals.
Ethical standards by health professionals assist in promoting the main objective of health care which is to ease suffering. Recruitment of competent workforce and continued exposure through in-service training will assist in the growth of their skills and familiarity in medical ethics and Medicare which will eventually minimize errors. Values that are fundamental to good communication, trust and responsibility and also fair medical care are as a result of good ethical standards. Respect among persons is built on the aspect of privacy and maintaining confidentiality. This assists in strengthening the support for medical care and this will increase the likelihood of people paying to access medical care and taking part in health development projects if the quality and worthiness of the projects is guaranteed.
Code of ethics in medical care should be viewed as a professional conception that is isolated from the idea of inflicting harm on patients. Fragment of the understanding is accepting that health and medical specialists are assured that medical ethics, which is important arm of general ethics is able to offer a worthwhile basis to clearly outline the standards of medical care. Therefore, medical care emphasizes more on the development of healthcare and helps in advancing the relationship between the patients and the dental hygienists.
Beemsterboer, P. L. (2016). Ethics and Law in Dental Hygiene-E-Book. Elsevier Health Sciences.
Conti, A., Delbon, P., Laffranchi, L., & Paganelli, C. (2013). Consent in dentistry: ethical and deontological issues. Journal of medical ethics, 39(1), 59-61.
Prasad, D. K., Hegde, C., Jain, A., & Shetty, M. (2011). Philosophy and principles of ethics: Its applications in dental practice. Journal of Education and Ethics in Dentistry, 1(1), 2.